Above: The Cathedral’s Education Centre before refurbishment, as well as The Undercroft following addressing damp issues and the new Wessex Learning Centre under construction.
The Cathedral’s existing Education Centre (at 10a The Close) was in desperate need of refurbishment and expansion. Disabled access was severely restricted and the facilities were old, cramped and unwelcoming. The Education Centre has now been re-furbished with level access as much as possible throughout, a platform lift enabling people with disabilities to use the whole building, and the damp and other issues have been addressed.
A new auditorium has also been constructed behind the Education Centre. Officially opened by HRH The Earl of Wessex on 29 April 2016, the new Wessex Learning Centre is a multi-functional, fully accessible space with the capacity to accommodate a whole school year group and has enabled us to provide a much greater range of activities.
In addition to the new building, we have created an ‘Apothecary garden’, where herbs and medicinal plants are grown to reflect the area’s monastic history. We have also created a sensory garden which uses the scents and textures of plants to enhance the experience of our disabled visitors.