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Canterbury Cathedral welcome centre approved

Words: Laura Edgar

Canterbury City Council has granted planning approval and listed building consent for the design of a new welcome centre for Canterbury Cathedral.

The project is part of the Canterbury Journey, a £24.7 million, five-year development programme that aims to restore and conserve the cathedral.

The project also seeks to deliver learning engagement opportunities.

The Heritage Lottery Fund has awarded the project £13.8 million.

The 390 square metre building will be located next to the grade I listed Christ Church Gate, which is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The welcome centre is expected to offer new community facilities for visitors, pilgrims and the Canterbury community. The restored 16th century Sun Inn will house the ticket desk, shop and visitor information.

In addition, the centre will also provide a multi-purpose education and recreation space.

Architectural practice Berman Guedes Stretton designed the new centre. The company said that to reduce the impact on the significant archaeological assets, including Roman remains, discovered on the site, the welcome centre footprint and structure primarily rests on the space currently occupied by the site’s buildings.