Repair and restore
A comprehensive programme of repair will put the cathedral back into good order. We will replace or repair some of our external nineteenth-century stonework; restore the roof of the north porch which has timber decay; do remedial work to entrances and lobbies; remove asbestos and treat recurring damp. We will also be upgrading existing works and systems to enhance the overall experience of the building. We will update our heating system; install new lighting and AV; introduce underfloor heating and lay new stone floors with an inclined floor plane, in the process removing all steps. Then we will be able to restore and celebrate the historic fabric of the cathedral and illuminate a common heritage within Leicester derived substantially from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Inside the cathedral, the work of talented architects and artists abounds. Two of the stained glass windows are by the well-known Arts & Crafts specialist Christopher Whall, while some of the great names of the nineteenth-century Gothic period.
Cathedrals are complex buildings. They are important as repositories of faith and as witnesses to the many manifestations of our past. The reordering of Leicester Cathedral will open up our spaces, allowing us to enjoy and understand better the different experiences they provide – worship, hospitality, reflection, sanctuary, gathering, friendship, learning, inspiration.
We will be able to appreciate fully the archaeological and architectural features, the history and purpose of the four chapels, the stories the windows tell us, how the belfry works, what is a cathedra, the story behind the king’s tomb, the deeply personal messages of the memorial stones, what happens in the daily life of the building.
The Heritage Learning Centre will be built on the footprint of the 1930s song school. It is a modern design attached to a historic building, protecting the cathedral and its setting by providing much-needed facilities in one place. There will be a separate entrance with a large hospitality area, including a servery. A light and beautiful reception area for orientation and gathering will also house a permanent and dynamic exhibition. The unpacking of the compelling story of the cathedral across one and a half millennia will be told through contemporary graphics, floor and wall projection, and themed object displays embedded within the walls. Visitors will discover the layout of the building through digital devices and interactive interpretation, before going inside the cathedral and exploring it in their own ways. The first floor will include a base for volunteers and research, a fully accessible toilet and a flexible learning space capable of seating a class of 30 or an adult learning group. Here, youngsters will enjoy inspirational learning in a safe and stimulating environment, beyond the confines of the conventional class room. The space will also be suitable for informal activities including lectures, creative sessions, family days, community groups and meetings.