Pilgrim News


Gloucester MP Backing Heritage to Lead City Regeneration

Gloucester stands to benefit from over £7.3m worth of National Lottery investment following successful applications by Gloucester Cathedral and Llanthony Secunda Priory to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

Cathedral Green: a new public space for GloucesterHLF has supported 22 projects in the city since 2010, playing a major part in the revival of Gloucester’s heritage.

The most recent successes mean that two of Gloucester’s most famous sites can now undertake major development projects:

The Cathedral’s ‘Project Pilgrim Phase One: the Heart of Gloucester’ is a £6m initiative, with £4.1m coming from HLF, to improve and restore key areas of the building and grounds. The project includes plans to uncover and share stories about the people and events which helped to shape our nation’s history.

Llanthony’s Reformation Project will see nearly £4m invested in the site with £3.2m coming from HLF.  Two of the historic priory buildings will be restored and brought back into use for both the local community and Gloucestershire College and so breathing new life into the site.

Richard Graham (Member of Parliament) said:

“Gloucester Cathedral is the jewel in our crown, but its setting will now be improved, and as a result the Cathedral will be more accessible to all. When Project Pilgrim is complete we’ll see the Cathedral in a new and better context.

The Llanthony Priory Trust award will benefit Gloucestershire College students who will use the buildings, visitors to Gloucester Quays and residents in the new Bakers Quay development and all over the county who will enjoy the new open space created.

Heritage led-regeneration in Gloucester is now enhancing lives today and this is something to celebrate.”

The Very Reverend Stephen Lake, Dean of Gloucester said:

Gloucester’s remarkable heritage continues to attract and inspire people from all over the world and we are delighted that different historic sites across the city are working together to make the most of the opportunities it provides. Project Pilgrim will enable the Cathedral to make a significant contribution to the regeneration of our city and to play an even greater role in the lives of local people.”

Jeremy Williamsom, Chair of Llanthony Secunda Priory Trust said:

“Llanthony Secunda Priory has been forgotten and languishing, literally the wrong side of the tracks for too long, having been cut off from the City by the railway lines of the industrial period. This project aims to put Llanthony Secunda back on the map given its important role in the development of the City. It will allow the Trust to restore the key buildings & utilise the fabulous green space for the benefit of the community and visitors.”

HLF has also supported key organisations within the city to work alongside each other to make the most of Gloucester’s diverse heritage and provide more opportunities for people to get involved. ‘The Gloucester Heritage Forum’ is developing events and volunteering opportunities, as well as playing a leading role promoting the city’s regeneration through heritage.  


Gloucester Cathedral

Gloucester Cathedral stands at the heart of the city on a site of Christian worship that stretches back fifteen hundred years. As one of the finest medieval buildings in the country, it boasts an array of architectural styles and is the resting place of King Edward II. Over 350,000 visitors are attracted to the site every year and it is supported by a team of over 450 volunteers.

About Project Pilgrim

Project Pilgrim is an ambitious programme of activity and capital development to be delivered over three phases. The application to the Heritage Lottery Fund referred to in this press release relates to the first phase – Project Pilgrim Phase One: the Heart of Gloucester.

Project Pilgrim Phase One: the Heart of Gloucester is a £6m project to help the Cathedral to fulfil its role as a dynamic place of spiritual, community and heritage activity. This investment will improve and restore specific areas of the building and grounds as well as uncover and share stories about the people and events which have helped to define the significant role it has played in the City and Nation’s history.

The ambitious plans include:

  • the creation of a new Cathedral Green, providing a public space in the historic heart of the City
  • conservation of the 15th Century Lady Chapel and its magnificent stained glass
  • provision of a new entrance and welcome area
  • improvements to access and story-telling across the site
  • installation of solar panels on the nave roof

This will be supported by an exciting three year programme of activities to enable more people to connect with this iconic building’s heritage.

Work is scheduled to begin this autumn.


About the Llanthony Secunda Reformation Project

Since its inception in 1136 the Priory site has had a chequered history, having enjoyed periods of great wealth and influence and equally periods of relative poverty and decline. The industrialization of Gloucester posed a significant threat to the site, almost destroying it completely, and it is a miracle that any remains exist at all. By 2007 all grade 1 structures on the site were on the ‘at risk’ register. 

The HLF funded project will provide a new future for this unique heritage asset through:

  • Restoring and bringing back into use the medieval range and the brick range
  • Developing it as a green space for use by the local community
  • Developing it as a significant new heritage site in Gloucester, and crucially
  • By securing it place within the wider regeneration of the Gloucester Docks area.


About the Heritage Lottery Fund

Thanks to National Lottery players, we invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about - from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife.



For further information, images and interviews, please contact:

Theo Platt, Head of Development & Communications - theo.platt@gloucestercathedral.org.uk  / 01452 874963

Sandie Conway, Communications Officer - sandie.conway@gloucestercathedral.org.uk / 01452 508219

Jeremy Williamson, Chairman, Llanthony Secunda Priory Trust - jeremy.williamson@cheltenham.gov.uk / 07767 658921

Dr Edwina E Bell, Project Manager, Llanthony Secunda Re-formation - edwina.bell@llanthonysecunda.org / 07766 857752

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