‘Cathedrals and their Communities’

A document has been released by the Department of Communities and Local Government on the diverse roles of Cathedrals in modern England.

Within the document, our Cathedral Quarter Masterplan at Blackburn Cathedral is praised for its role in driving regeneration in town and city centres through collaborating with local authorities, developers and the local community.

The following excerpt is taken from ‘Cathedrals and their Communities‘ on pg 14/15.

‘Blackburn is a prime example of a cathedral that has gone above and beyond in encouraging local growth. The Dean of the cathedral has developed a unique relationship with local business owners, the BID and council. Together they have successfully redeveloped the city centre area surrounding the cathedral and the cathedral grounds themselves.

The cathedral has been used as the focal point for the brand new ‘Cathedral Quarter’ with shops, a café, restaurants and office space. The quarter is just the first stage in Blackburn’s regeneration with retail opportunities set to expand. Interestingly, the cathedral team remains involved in these projects in an advisory capacity. Bradford cathedral has also been involved in rebuilding the city centre.

The idea that cathedrals should play a role in promoting local business and regeneration is gaining traction with cathedrals, such as Salisbury and Chelmsford, who are following the examples shared by others. Whether a cathedral has interest in local business because it owns freehold or simply believes that a strong economy can make people’s lives better, it is increasingly important for cathedrals to collaborate with their neighbours.’

Cathedral Quarter Masterplan by James Sanderson, Surveyor to the Fabric of Blackburn Cathedral. Project undertaken whilst at previous practice.