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Welfare changes rolled out

Protests were staged against the changes Credit: ITV

Cumbria, the North East and North West are the first regions to undergo welfare changes from today. The government is replacing Disability Living Allowance with Personal Independence Payments. Initially only new claimants will be affected. This will be rolled out everywhere else from June.

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Paralympian praises better cathedral access

Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson opens a new shop and a lift at Durham Cathedral. Credit: Durham Cathedral

The multi-medal winning Paralympian Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson has officially opened a new shop, and better access for people with disabilities at Durham Cathedral.

The new shop is opposite the popular Undercroft Restaurant, with both the restaurant and the shop accessed from the new Foyer.

The steps into the Undercroft have been remodelled making space for a new platform lift. Visitors who are not able to manage steps will no longer have to find their way by leaving the Cloister and going a long way round.

Baroness Grey-Thompson said: “Making historic buildings such as Durham Cathedral accessible, in particular providing access for visitors with different needs to the shop, restaurant and toilets is important.

"I have experience as a Mum, with my own family, of not being able to easily access such important areas on visits to historic buildings. It is obvious that a huge amount of thought has gone into this development and it is an open, welcoming and absolutely stunning space.”

Paralympic champion backs accessible Durham Cathedral

11 times Paralympics champion Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson today officially unveils a new shop and accessible entrance foyer to Durham Cathedral.

The new facilities have transformed the cathedral's medieval Undercroft. For the first time in 100 years, all 13 bays of the Undercroft will be visible to the public.

The new foyer will make it easier for visitors who cannot manage steps to move around the cathedral, cutting walking distances.

"We are delighted that Baroness Thompson accepted our invitation to open the Shop and new accessible Foyer. In a year when the achievements of disabled athletes have been at the fore, it is appropriate that someone who has championed disabled rights, and who is such an inspiration to others, is able to join us to celebrate this completed phase of Open Treasure."

– The Very Rev Michael Sadgrove, Dean of Durham

The work is part of the 'Open Treasure' project, which involves significant work to improve access to a building designed to meet the needs of 16th century monks.

The new Cathedral shop will offer a 10% discount to visitors on Saturday 3 November.