WORCESTER Cathedral has announced the Undercroft Learning Centre has opened after restoration work was completed.

We reported in July work restarted on the project after lockdown and at event held on October 14 the space was officially handed back to the Cathedral by Croft the contractors.

The space was immediately put to use as the following day, October 15, the first school group used the space. Thirty year 5 students from St Barnabas CE First & Middle School spent the day in the Undercroft, learning about the Civil War and the role of Worcester Cathedral in the Battle of Worcester.

Located along the side of the South Cloisters and once used by the Benedictine Monks as their store room, the unique space has been brought back to life by a team of master crafts men, as well as the cathedral's Stone Masons.

The area is designed to be used as a flexible venue for learning of all kinds, welcoming visitors from schools as well as corporate training days.

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The Dean, the Very Reverend Peter Atkinson, said: “This is the completion of many years of planning, designing, and fundraising.

"What has been achieved is the first fully thought-out use for this glorious building in 500 years.

"We have many people to thank, and when we are able to celebrate in a more public way, we shall be making sure that all our donors and benefactors are properly thanked.

"In the meantime, we look forward to the Undercroft coming into use.”

Daniel Parnell, the Cathedral's director of education, said: “It was such a special moment when Andy Hutchings from Croft handed over the key to the Dean.

"We have waited a long time and we are excited for people to see and experience this unique space.”

The cathedral was awarded a National Lottery Heritage Fund grant to conserve the cellar, and bring the project to fruition.

The plan is for general Cathedral visitors to be able to look around, when it is safe to do, with details of this to be announced soon.

Arts & Wonder workshops are being held in the Undercroft over half term - for more details visit artsandwonder.co.uk.