The doors of Newcastle Cathedral will open once again to welcome all visitors, following a multi-million pound transformation.
The redevelopment of the 14th-century building had been supported by The National Lottery Heritage Fund.
Rev Canon Peter Dobson at Newcastle Cathedral:
The project, known as Common Ground in Sacred Space, was undertaken to re-establish the Cathedral as a dynamic community hub and a key attraction in Newcastle city centre with "significant improvements to the public space outside and an overhaul of its interior to accommodate more visitors, events and activities".
Over 20 months, the historic and spiritual landmark has been sympathetically restored and re-modelled into an accessible visitor attraction, whilst at the same time preserving and celebrating its ancient religious roots.
In the Nave, new underfloor heating and flexible seating accommodates new styles of worship and now enables the Cathedral to host large-scale business and cultural events.
The Very Revd Geoff Miller, Dean of Newcastle, said: “At its heart, the project has been about creating a sustainable future for our magnificent Cathedral, celebrating its elegance, but also energising its mission to make this sacred place common ground."
Improved and enhanced visitor facilities include a retail area and a new community café – Café 16 – an initiative by Northumberland-based charity The Oswin Project that will help prison leavers to get their lives back on track.
New features include animation and a new sound and light show, which are designed to bring 900 years of history to life, chronicling the development of the Cathedral as the ancient heart of a modern city.
Newcastle Cathedral will be open to the public from Thursday 12 August 2021.