Lincoln Cathedral bids for £12m to boost visitor numbers
Lincoln Cathedral is bidding for £12m of Heritage Lottery funding in an effort to attract more visitors.
If successful, cathedral officials aim to use the money to produce interactive tours, create a learning centre and improve access at the main entrance.
Canon John Patrick said the work would transform facilities at the 900-year-old building, which attracts about 180,000 visitors a year.
He said the "ancient and historic city deserves to be better known".'Walk straight in'
- It costs about £3m a year to run the cathedral, with about £1m being raised from visitors and events
- In recent years, it has raised extra revenue being used as a set for films, including The Da Vinci Code and The Young Victoria
- TV shows, including Antiques Roadshow and Scaling Britain, were also filmed there
- A guided tour of the building costs £6 for an adult, £1 for a child
Canon Patrick said the project, Lincoln Cathedral Connected, would link with a £20m scheme at the castle - which includes the creation of an underground vault to house Lincoln's Magna Carta.
He added: "This is a really exciting project - and not only for the cathedral but the city and the county as well.
"The number of visitors to the city could be increased significantly."
Entry to the cathedral is free, but a charge of £6 is made for adults who take a guided tour of the building with a £1 fee for a child.
Explaining the aims of the scheme, he said: "One of the things we are really interested in doing is making sure people understand the building by using electronic tablets and creating a new interpretation centre.
"We are also putting the ground back to where it was before the Victorians lowered it in the 19th Century to create an open space which will allow people to walk straight in without the need for ramps."
Work could begin in 2016 and take about five years to complete.