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Thursday, 14 November

Heavenly Head for Heights Rewarded

Chester Cathedral has earned a Trip Advisor Excellence Award since opening the Cathedral at Height project to the public in April last year.

The success follows an increase in footfall at the cathedral of 350% and the reward of welcome additional revenue from over 7,500 ‘intrepid explorers' with the project winning an award in the Chester Civic Trust's New Year Honours List 2015.

Extensive work was undertaken by restoration architect, Donald Insall Associates, working with William Anelay, Turner and Townsend, Ramboll UK and Bob Costello Associates.

Work began in Summer 2013 and involved the cathedral tower, tower roof, bell ringing chamber and bell-frame chamber's preparation for public access. It was officially opened in September 2014 by The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall, Earl and Countess of Chester.

Chester Cathedral received a £1.3 million grant from Cheshire West and Chester Council to carry out the work which also involved the Cathedral Fabric Commission for England, Chester Cathedral Fabric Advisory Committee, Chester Renaissance, Chester Civic Trust and English Heritage.

Visitors can now enjoy accessing areas of the Grade I listed cathedral previously unseen by the public after The tour of the cathedral includes high level, panoramic views of the city and five counties.

"This complicated project involved very real challenges for the design team to provide safe access and open up previously unseen areas of the cathedral,” explained Tony Barton, Chairman, Donald Insall Associates. “It involved new balustrades, viewing platforms, lighting, handrails, staircases and interpretations. The challenges were overcome by the design team and contractors to deliver the project on time and on budget."

Picture:    The Cathedral at Height project at Chester Cathedral allows visitors access to areas of the Grade I listed cathedral previously unseen by the public. 

Article written by Mike Gannon

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