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Thorn shines light on Durham Cathedral

Jan 20, 2022 | Local News

A revamp project is set to shine new light onto historic Durham Cathedral.

A team has been working carefully to develop a new lighting scheme that will be more efficient and reduce carbon emissions by employing the latest LED technology.

Durham County Council is embarking on the specialist programme to replace the site’s current external lighting system.

Working alongside the cathedral and Thorn Lighting, the high-quality creative scheme has been developed using energy efficient floodlighting installations and state-of-the-art control systems. This new programme of works is the first phase of a larger project which looks to renew the lighting system at Durham Castle in the future.

As with the current system, operators will be able to control the colour of the lighting. This will allow the cathedral to respectfully mark certain ceremonies and events throughout the year, such as Remembrance Day.

Cllr John Shuttleworth, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for rural communities and highways, said: “Durham Cathedral and Castle is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is an integral part of not only the city but County Durham as a whole. A project like this has to be carefully managed and sympathetic to such a magnificent structure.

“It is a beacon across the world and a vitally important part of our culture, which complements other work being done across the county as part of our bid to be named UK City of Culture 2025. The new lighting will allow people to appreciate the cathedral at night with a new perspective, while it also enhances the current structure and ensures the lights will be kept on for years to come.”

Maya Polenz, chief officer: property at Durham Cathedral, said: “While the current system was installed only 10 years ago, it is in much need of a refresh. This new system will once again showcase the cathedral in all its glory, as an icon of worship, history and heritage on Durham’s landscape.

“We are grateful to Durham County Council for the investment, which will enable a reduction in our carbon footprint whilst enabling the building to be fully illuminated again. It will allow the cathedral and the wider county to mark moments of national significance, such as the upcoming celebrations for The Queen’s Jubilee.”