York Minster secures £500,000 for craft skills Centre of Excellence

Image: York Minster Credit (Chapter of York)

The centre is hoped to help retain craft skills and provide residential facilities for apprentices and trainees

York Minster has secured half a million pounds for a new Centre of Excellence for Heritage Skills and Estate Management.

The Garfield Weston Foundation’s grant of £500,000 is the largest philanthropic gift granted by a charitable foundation towards the York cathedral’s work to date. It meets 25% of the £2m total fundraising campaign for the Centre for Excellence.

Set to open later this year, the Centre is being created to help retain traditional craft skills and their practitioners. It is hoped to support young people in the early stages of their careers and provide dedicated residential facilities for apprentices and trainees.

Alex McCallion, Director of Works and Precinct at York Minster, said plans for the centre are “crucial for helping us to secure the environmental, financial and heritage sustainability of York Minster for many years to come”.

Philippa Charles, Director of The Garfield Weston Foundation, added: “In a time of dwindling numbers of heritage craft practitioners learning the skills required to preserve and maintain beautiful historic buildings such as York Minster, we are delighted to help support this important project. We look forward to seeing the Centre develop.”

The Centre of Excellence is part of the adopted York Minster Precinct Neighbourhood Plan, a policy-led approach to creating a sustainable future for the Minster and its seven hectare estate.