Back to drawing board for cathedral entrance

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A FUNDING bid to improve access at Sheffield Cathedral was pulled at the eleventh hour after church planners asked for a redesign.

Cathedral chiefs had hoped to request almost £1 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund to create a new, modern, open and fully accessible glass entrance, as part of a £4m revamp.

But as the Cathedral Fabric Commission for England suggested changes, the bid was stopped two days before Christmas.

The Cathedral Fabric Commission oversees the Church of England’s own set of planning controls on top of the local authority system.

It is now back to the drawing board - as redesigns must be drawn up in six weeks.

The Very Reverend Peter Bradley, Dean of Sheffield Cathedral, said: “The commission thought it was out of keeping with the rest of the cathedral. It was very narrowly defeated.

“Working on a heritage building you get used to this. Literally every umbrella stand, I have had to have approved.

“I think we’ve got about six weeks for the redesign and hope to hear back in March, so it is very tight.”

Last year an initial grant of £31,900 from the Lottery fund was awarded to help develop the entrance bid.

The cathedral already has approval for other improvements - including new flooring, heating, seating and mostly community education resources – that have been funded by the Sheffield Church Burgesses.