Project update 20th May 2015
Statement from the Dean and Chapter of Exeter Cathedral regarding bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund for the Foundations project
We are very naturally very disappointed that our innovative proposal to uncover Exeter’s most significant hidden treasure, the extensive remains of a first century Roman Bath house under Cathedral Green, has not been successful in attracting Heritage Lottery funding. We had worked closely with English Heritage and other key bodies right up to the moment we submitted our bid, and had hoped that the project’s vision – one shared by the people of Exeter and its civic and parliamentary leaders – would also inspire the HLF.
We have talked to HLF this week and are encouraged by their feedback and with them we are now looking at other opportunities to expand what we offer people here at the Cathedral. HLF have themselves said to us that they believe a project to uncover the Roman Baths has the potential to become a major attraction but that more work may need to be done to safeguard the future of the Cathedral itself first.
It is very clear to us that doing nothing is not an option; just keeping the Cathedral open costs £4,000 a day and we get very little government or publicly funded support. Attracting more visitors to this wonderful, 900 year old Cathedral is essential if we are to keep the doors open and continue to play a vital role in tourist economy of Exeter.