Historian and broadcaster Dr David Starkey will officially open the new Visitor and Learning Centre at Peterborough Cathedral.
Re-enactors dressed as medieval knights will provide a guard of honour for Dr Starkey as he cuts a ribbon across the entrance to the new Centre at 2pm on Saturday, September 10.
Everyone is welcome to witness the ceremony which will take place during Heritage Open Weekend at the Cathedral.
Once the ribbon has been cut, the public will be welcomed into the centre for the first time to see new displays illustrating the Cathedral’s history, its people and its faith, from Anglo-Saxon times right up to the present day.
There is something for everyone to enjoy in the Centre, with a timeline showing priceless artefacts, as well as hands-on exhibits and a digital touch-table for visitors to follow the Cathedral story through pictures, discovering some amazing facts. There is also an audio presentation for those who prefer to listen rather than to look.
The opening of the centre is the culmination of two years’ work in carefully conserving and converting two listed buildings in the Precincts. It is the second part of an ambitious project to improve physical and intellectual access to the Cathedral in the years leading up to its 900th anniversary in 2018. The first phase, installing level access and glazed doors at the West Front entrance of the Cathedral, was completed in April 2015. The whole project has been supported by a £2.4 million Heritage Lottery grant, as well as contributions from other donors.
Very Revd Charles Taylor, Dean of Peterborough said: “It is wonderful to see the new centre completed and open to visitors.
“We hope that people of all ages and backgrounds will find it a welcoming place that enriches their visit to our magnificent Cathedral. We are enormously grateful to the Heritage Lottery Fund and all those who have enabled us to bring this project to fruition.”
Following the opening ceremony, Dr Starkey will be available to sign copies of his books at the Centre. There will be a book stall in association with Waterstones.
The Centre will be open to the public daily from 10am to 5pm Monday to Saturday, and from 11am to 4pm on Sundays. There is no charge for entry but donations are encouraged to help with Cathedral running costs.
For more information please visit the Cathedral website at www.peterborough-cathedral.org.uk or call 01733 355315.