The first phase of an extensive project to restore and improve facilities at the Cathedral Church of All Saints Wakefield has reached completion.
Work on Phase One of the project, which was titled Project 2013 made great progress and reached completion on time and within budget. Now that work is complete on the first phase, Phase Two will focus on restoring the East End of the Cathedral and Phase Three potentially will see some existing Cathedral buildings replaced with new facilities.
Phase One comprised the conservation of a medieval wall painting, the installation of new heating and lighting systems, and the installation of a new sound system, hearing loop and Wi-Fi. In addition, internal walls were cleaned, the historic 17th century font was relocated, a brand new lime concrete floor with Hill House Sandstone paving and labyrinth, incorporating underfloor heating was installed and some re-pointing and repair works were also undertaken to the historic fabric.
William Anelay was the main contractor for the project, whilst Thomas Ford & Partners provided all architectural services. Throughout the project a number of specialist subcontractors were appointed to conduct very sensitive works within the Cathedral. Fleetwood-based company, Great British Lighting was responsible for the supply of bespoke light fittings on the project.
Commenting on the restoration of the Cathedral, Thomas Ford and Partners, Partner, John Bailey, said:
“The work taking place at the Cathedral has been in the pipeline for the last ten years and comprises three phases, with the main aim to return the Cathedral to its former glory. The first phase of the project was to ensure that the nave could become the great meeting space for the city.
“Whilst the work was being conducted, the Cathedral remained open, so during Phase One a full-height dust proof screen was installed separating the east end from the nave, to ensure that there was minimal disruption for members of the public who were visiting this historic building.
“Since working on this site our understanding of the building has improved significantly and we reached practical completion of the first phase more or less as planned and under budget. Taking into consideration that the Cathedral is a Grade I Listed building and there is a great deal of archaeology involved with this site, this is very good going.
“The interior of the nave was last reordered in 1874 and essentially it had remained like this for the past 140 years. The work that we have been involved with at the Cathedral will see the nave through another 140 years and this is something which is very gratifying.”
“Working on any cathedral is very important and it is something which all ecclesiastical architects aspire to be a part of. So far I have been involved with work at the Cathedral for more than seven years.
“A lot of people come to the Cathedral, for a variety of reasons and everyone in the local community has been very pleased about this work. We have to allow the building to move forward, as without change the Cathedral could become irrelevant. What we are doing ensures the future of this great building.”