News: Durham Cathedral appoints a Visitor Experience and Enterprise Director
Durham Cathedral appoints a Visitor Experience and Enterprise Director
Durham Cathedral is preparing to reopen to visitors and tourists when Government advises it is safe to do so. The preparations include the appointment of Andrew Usher as the cathedral’s Visitor Experience and Enterprise Director. This new position has been created as part of a major change programme in response to Covid-19 and in compliance with the new legislation governing Church of England cathedrals, which recommends the creation of a senior executive team to be responsible for day-to-day operations.
Later this year the cathedral will reopen with a refreshed visitor offer and new staffing structure. It is being specifically designed to ensure all who come receive the warmest of welcomes and are able to enjoy all that the cathedral has to offer. The cathedral has been using the phrase ‘resurrection not resuscitation’ as it works on the detail of the change programme. The appointment of Mr Usher to this new position is key to this ‘resurrection’.
The Very Reverend Andrew Tremlett, Dean of Durham says, “Andrew brings a wealth of experience to the cathedral. He has an impressive career in retail and customer service, in combination with change management experience and qualifications. Andrew is from North East England and has a huge passion for its unique culture, recognising the significance of the region’s Christian heritage and Durham Cathedral as a place of worship and hospitality.”
In addition to his extensive retail experience, Mr Usher has recently been volunteering with the Hextol Foundation in Hexham, Northumberland, a charity that works with adults with learning disabilities or mental health conditions that limits their abilities to gain regular work.
Andrew Usher says, “I am extremely excited to be joining the Durham Cathedral team, in the role of Visitor Experience and Enterprise Director. I look forward to leading and supporting colleagues, and working alongside the cathedral’s volunteers, who are paramount to its visitor welcome. I relish the challenge of embedding the cathedral’s change programme to the benefit of all who visit, whether they be exploring close to home, or in time as travel is allowed, visiting as tourists to Durham and North East England.”
Last year, the cathedral was fortunate enough to secure significant grant support from the Department for Culture Media and Sport, in partnership with the National Heritage Lottery Fund, as well as funding from the Church of England. Both the Culture Recovery Fund and the Cathedrals Sustainability Fund are helping the cathedral to recover from the economic impact of Covid-19 and to support work around a new vision for cathedral life which centres on delivering an exceptional visitor experience to all. The Cathedrals Sustainability Funding in particular will provide support for the new role of Visitor Experience and Enterprise Director.
Durham Cathedral is working on a plan to safely reopen to the cathedral to visitors as a tourist attraction. This will be no earlier than 17 May in line with Stage 3 of the Government's roadmap to the end of lockdown. In the meantime, Durham Cathedral remains open daily for private prayer and quiet reflection from 11am to 2pm, offering Holy Communion in a Covid secure way Monday to Saturday at 12.30pm. It has a full schedule of worship offered online via its Facebook page. For more information, please see www.durhamcathedral.co.uk
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Added Wednesday 31st March 2021