St Albans Cathedral is pleased to announce that the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has awarded a grant of £3,872,900 for its development project Alban, Britain’s First Saint: Telling the Whole Story.  With this grant, the Cathedral now has the permissions and funds in place to make their transformational project a reality.

In addition to the HLF grant, a further £3million has been raised as a result of the generosity of over 1000 donors. We are grateful for the support of the Congregation, Friends, private individuals, the local community and trusts and foundations, including Tarmac Ltd Landfill Communities Fund, the Garfield Weston Foundation and the Laing Family Trusts amongst many others.

The Dean of St Albans, the Very Rev’d Dr Jeffrey John, said, “This is wonderful news from the Heritage Lottery Fund. The Fund exists to make more people aware of the riches of our national heritage, and St Albans Cathedral deserves to be far better known as the oldest Christian site in Britain, with a uniquely long and rich history to tell.

“With this grant, and with the match funding that has so generously been given by trusts and by over a thousand individuals, we shall create a beautiful new welcome centre, a new centre for schoolchildren, a new exhibition area, and a new adult study centre and library. We shall be able to present the Cathedral’s treasures in a much more attractive way, which includes illuminating the medieval wall paintings and rebuilding the ruined medieval shrine of St Amphibalus. Working with the City’s own Museum project and visitor strategy, we shall make St Albans a first-choice destination for tourists and pilgrims alike.”

The project will also deliver a refreshed programme of events and activities for all ages, vastly improved visitor facilities with, for the first time, level access to the Cathedral, café, shop and toilets.

Chair of the Alban Appeal Executive, Gerald Corbett, hailed the news as “a great day for St Albans, Hertfordshire and all of the Diocese” and paid tribute to the host of individuals who have championed the project and who have helped secure the funds necessary to unlock the grant awarded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Robyn Llewellyn, Head of HLF East of England, said: “From its role in the evolution of Christianity, to the story of the city that grew around it, St Albans Cathedral is home to an incredible collection of artefacts, stories and architecture dating back 1700 years.

“Thanks to National Lottery players, this project will secure that heritage for future generations to enjoy, transform access and facilities to enable even more people to visit and create exciting opportunities to get involved in the St Albans story.”

The project will work with and complement the nearby development of the Town Hall Museum, also made possible by National Lottery players thanks to a grant of £2.8million from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Preparatory work will get underway in the autumn with the building works due to be completed by the summer of 2019. The programme of HLF funded activities will continue for several years.