Illustration by Simpson and Brown Architects
The end of September saw Globe issue the final draft of the Business Plan for the Lincoln Cathedral Connected project. The Business Plan is part of a large scale Heritage Lottery Fund application being made by the Cathedral to support a £16m multi-faceted project which will create a new visitor centre, complete with exhibition and education facilities, a new café/restaurant, and a new cathedral shop. Connected will also create new public realm, complete the conservation of the Cathedral’s West Front, and provide a fully accessible visitor experience with particular attention being paid to enhancing the visitor experience for disabled visitors.
Globe has been working on the project as part of a multi-disciplinary team made up of specialist professional practices from around the UK, along with the Cathedral’s own project team led by the Acting Dean and Subdean The Rev Canon John Patrick.
The relatively complex Business Plan, with its associated Market Appraisal and Economic Impact Assessment, focuses on the increased visitor activity generated by Connected and the effect of this on the Cathedral’s main sources of trading income; in particular, ticket sales, sales of food and drink from a new restaurant/cafe, and retail sales from a new Cathedral shop. One of the more difficult aspects of the plan was establishing a model for the projected growth in visitor activity resulting directly from Connected, at a time when Lincoln has seen a significant increase in visitor activity. This was the result of Lincoln Castle re-opening in 2015 following the extensive Castle Revealed project and the construction of the P J Ross Magna Carta Vault, which houses Lincoln Cathedral’s copy of the Magna Carta.
Globe’s starting point for visitor projections was to use several different approaches in parallel and also to go back to much earlier work by ECOTEC, which looked at the overall future growth of uphill Lincoln and its potential to operate as a world class heritage visitor destination. However regular ‘reality checking’ of our estimates against actual visitor numbers during the contract period led us to increase our early visitor projections, taking the predicted Cathedral paying visitor figure to over 146,000 pa. once the project is completed. Visitor activity at this level is expected to generate over £600,000 in additional ticket sales and contribute to a predicted net profit of approximately £860,000 from trading activity.
Globe will be part of the project team meeting the HLF panel when they visit Lincoln in November. Russell will be on hand to answer any questions with the support of John Chappelle of Insight Accounting, who have assisted Globe in the preparation of the Business Plan.
We wish the Cathedral every success with the HLF application which is not only an important development for the Cathedral but is also an essential part of fulfilling the long-held objective of fully realising Lincoln’s potential as a ‘world class heritage destination’.
You can hear more about the Connected Project from the Project Co-ordinator Dr Anne Irving via the following link;