TV architect George Clarke has given the thumbs-up to volunteers helping to make a Lego version of Durham Cathedral.
The mini replica is under construction at the historic landmark and the Sunderland-born presenter visited the site to see the model for himself.
He also met some of the people he helped to recruit as Lego Makers. Earlier this year he appealed for volunteers to come forward and as a result a team of people offered to help develop the scheme.
Visitors and supporters of the project are able to donate a pound and receive a brick to place on the scaled down model of what is often described as Europe’s greatest Romanesque building.
The money raised will go towards the cathedral’s Heritage Lottery Funded Open Treasure project, which aims to transform the way visitors experience the landmark and how they are inspired by it. The emerging Lego model is found in the undercroft foyer, located off the west range of the cathedral cloister.
George, 39, best known for his work on The Restoration Man and The Home Show on Channel 4, said: “It is great to see the model progressing and to meet some of the volunteers who are crucial to making it happen.
“Their enthusiasm for the build and their willingness to help others enjoy the project as visitors lay their bricks is fantastic. Importantly the Lego build is a fabulous way of raising money for the cathedral’s Open Treasure project as it looks to create appropriate exhibition spaces and facilities for visitors to enjoy its wealth of historic collections.”
The Very Reverend Michael Sadgrove, Dean of Durham, added: “We are incredibly grateful for the hard work that our Lego maker volunteers do.
“It is fascinating to see the model emerge as visitors place bricks under the careful guidance of the Lego Makers. We were delighted when George visited in May to help us recruit our team of volunteers and thank him for taking the time and interest to come back and meet them.”
The Open Treasure initiative has received a first-round pass from the Heritage Lottery Fund. This means the HFL supports the project in principle and will welcome a more detailed application for the full amount of £3.5m. A second stage application has now been submitted.
Durham Cathedral is the shrine of St Cuthbert and the seat of the Bishop of Durham.
The building of the landmark commenced in 1093 and took around 40 years to complete.
It continues to be a focus for pilgrimage and attracts more than 600,000 visitors each year from all over the world. It has internationally important collections of artefacts, manuscripts and books that include St Cuthbert’s coffin and his pectoral cross, and examples of Anglo-Saxon craftsmanship.
Anyone interested in becoming a Lego volunteer should contact firstname.lastname@example.org