Leicester Cathedral Quarter Partnership Board formed

Posted by pt91 at Sep 05, 2013 09:45 AM |
University of Leicester joins local public bodies in helping development of 'The Cathedral Quarter'

Issued by Leicester Cathedral on 5 September 2013

Today marks a key moment in the life of the oldest part of the city. Leaders from seven bodies responsible for the area around the Cathedral have agreed to form a partnership to ensure the growth and development of “The Cathedral Quarter”.  This has long been an ambition and the focus on the area following the discovery of King Richard lll has prompted moving ahead with the plan.

What is the Leicester Cathedral Partnership Board?

The discovery of the remains of Richard III, the planned visitor centre and the forthcoming redevelopment of Cathedral Gardens present an unprecedented opportunity to welcome increased numbers of visitors to Leicester, particularly to the area around the Cathedral, Guildhall, St Martins House and the new Richard III Visitor Centre. We are sharing with all these people the story of the city’s past, its vibrant life and faith and to offer opportunities for learning, reflection, spiritual and material refreshment and fun.

To make the most of this opportunity the Cathedral and Diocese of Leicester, the City and County Councils and the University of Leicester are joining together to form a Partnership Board which will encourage and co-ordinate the development of the Cathedral Quarter.  The Board will comprise senior representatives of each of the partners and will work with project and task groups to deliver the infrastructure, provide for its upkeep and oversee a programme of events best suited to enable visitors and local people of all ages and backgrounds to get the most from all the area will have to offer.

Which organisations are involved?

The partners are: The Bishop of Leicester in his corporate capacity; The Council, the Chapter and the College of Canons of Leicester Cathedral; St Martins Cathedral Properties Limited; Leicester City Council; Leicestershire County Council; The University of Leicester.

What are their aims?

In the immediate future the partners will, in various ways , respond together to the challenges and opportunities presented by the discovery of the remains of King Richard III and subsequent planned reinterment of those remains in Leicester Cathedral.

Who will be on the board?

The membership is:

  • The Bishop of Leicester in his corporate capacity who shall also be the Co-Chair of the Board
  • The Dean of Leicester as Chair of the Chapter of Leicester Cathedral
  • A person nominated by St Martins Cathedral Properties Limited
  • The City Mayor of Leicester who shall also be the Co-Chair of the Board
  • One other representative of Leicester City Council
  • The Leader of Leicestershire County Council or his/her nominee
  • The Chief Executive of Leicestershire County Council or his/her nominee
  • The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leicester or his/her nominee
  • One other person nominated by the University of Leicester

The Chief Executive and Diocesan Secretary of the Diocese of Leicester as Secretary of the Board will administer its affairs.

To which geographical area does this apply?

The area of the City of Leicester in the vicinity of the Cathedral bounded to the north by Guildhall Lane, to the east by St Martins East, to the south by St Martins and Peacock Lane (but including the Richard III Visitor Centre), and to the west by Applegate comprising parts of the public highway; The Richard III Visitor Centre; Leicester Cathedral Gardens (including parts of the public highway); Leicester Cathedral; St Martins House, Peacock Lane, Leicester; Leicester Guildhall (including the Leicester Cathedral Visitor Centre)

It is in the interests of all the Parties to ensure positive collaboration between them to promote the Partnership Area for visitors and the mutual and individual benefit of the Parties.

Why this area of the city?

Leicester Cathedral and the area of the city of Leicester in the vicinity of Leicester Cathedral represent a significant focus for visitors, educational facilities and commemorative events. Leicester Cathedral as the Cathedral Church of the Diocese of Leicester serves both the City of Leicester and County of Leicestershire

What will the Leicester Cathedral Quarter Partnership Board do?

The Board will develop an agreed vision for and provide strategic co-ordination of the works and activities in the Partnership area. This refers in particular to Cathedral Gardens and the reinterment of Richard III, plus the on-going development and maintenance of public events and facilities. The Board will, as far as possible, ensure that all joint ventures, partnerships and activities with which they are involved are carried out in a collaborative manner and in accordance with these aims and objectives.

The Cathedral

The Very Reverend David Monteith, Dean of Leicester said:  “At present we are working with the other members of the partnership by preparing to reinter King Richard III mortal remains with dignity, with the prayers of the church and in a timely manner.  The plans for the tomb and its place of honour in the cathedral will need the consent the Cathedrals Fabric Commission for England and our proposals for that are due to be submitted to that body imminently”.

St Martins Cathedral Property Services

St Martins Cathedral Property Services is committed to developing Cathedral Gardens in partnership with the City Council, to be completed by Easter next year.  Tender documents for the work were sent out last week, and are due for return by the end of September, for a proposed start on site early in October.  The completed Gardens will not only house the relocated statue of Richard III currently in Castle Gardens, but it’s also intended to include a completely new piece of art-work to be commissioned by the County Council to complement that.

The Diocese of Leicester

The Right Reverend Tim Stevens, Bishop of Leicester said:  " I am delighted that this Partnership Board will bring together the major institutions who share responsibility for taking forward all the plans that flow from the discovery of King Richard lll last year. In particular I am pleased to be sharing the Chairmanship with the City Mayor so that the Cathedral and the whole City can work closely together to provide an outstanding visitor attraction and a fitting permanent place of rest for a King."

Leicester City Council

Leicester’s City Mayor Sir Peter Soulsby said: “The Cathedral Quarter is at the heart of the historic old town and has a vital role to play in the city’s future. The regeneration of the area is well under way. Work to connect the historic gems of the old town with the modern city is progressing well, the construction of the King Richard lll visitor centre is about to start, and the development of Cathedral Gardens is imminent.

“However, the discovery of the bones of King Richard lll have turned the eyes of the world to Leicester in a way we could never before have imagined, and it is our intention to keep them there.

This new partnership will ensure we take full advantage of the existing and new opportunities this presents to both the city and county, and shows our commitment to working together to achieve this.”

Leicestershire County Council

County council leader Nick Rushton said: "We're keen to work closely with our partners to tell the story of King Richard III and ensure that the Cathedral and the Cathedral Quarter continue to play a major role in the life of county residents. That's why I'm asking the county council to contribute £250,000 to support the imaginative work around Cathedral Gardens, which will link up with our existing attraction at Bosworth Battlefield and demonstrate our determination to work with colleagues in the city, to boost our economy and tourism."

The University of Leicester

Professor Sir Bob Burgess, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leicester said: “The Discovery of Richard III by a team from the University of Leicester is testament to how academic research can have profound local and national significance with important economic, cultural and historical ramifications.

“As a University founded by the people of Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland, it is a particular source of pride that our work has focussed international attention on the city. It is rare that academic achievement captures the public imagination in this way and we are delighted to be able to work with our colleagues on this Partnership Board to invest in Leicester’s future by helping to explore and understand its past.”

The University of Leicester led, and principally funded, the archaeological dig for Richard III, in partnership with Leicester City Council and in association with the Richard III Society.  Philippa Langley, of the Richard III Society, is the originator of the Search for Richard III.  The University funded and carried out the subsequent scientific examination which led to the confirmation by the University that King Richard III had been discovered.

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