Innovator of the Year 2023 – York Minster

20th December 2023

York Minster’s Neighbourhood Plan has been announced as “Innovator of the Year 2023” by the Future for Religious Heritage (FRH), the European network for historic places of worship.

York Minster named Religious Heritage Innovator of the Year

The Religious Heritage Innovator of the Year is a competition launched by FRH in 2022 to celebrate and promote excellence in the field of religious heritage. Each edition of this annual award recognises five projects that have contributed or contribute significantly to the safeguarding, enhancement and/or promotion of Europe’s places of worship.

Entries to the competition are evaluated by a high-level jury of experts according to the values of inclusion, sustainability, resilience, innovation and cooperation, in line with the pillars of the European Commission’s Framework for Action on Cultural Heritage.

The Very Revd Dominic Barrington, Dean of York said:

“We are delighted to have won this award.  York Minster’s Neighbourhood Plan will deliver the greatest changes in the Minster Precinct since the mid-1850s. It provides the policy framework that will guide the creation of a heritage estate that is both environmentally and financially sustainable and which will also meet the needs of our local community and visitors to the city of York.”

Alex McCallion, Director of Works and Precinct at York Minster who authored and is leading the implementation of the cathedral’s Neighbourhood Plan, said:

“We are incredibly proud to have been given the award of Innovator of Year by this important European network.  The Neighbourhood Plan is an excellent demonstration of the power of partnership working in delivering tangible results.   

“After thirty-two weeks of public consultation and working in close partnership with City of York Council, Historic England, the Neighbourhood Forum and other important stakeholders, we have already secured nine major planning consents against the policies of our adopted plan.”

Future for Religious Heritage (FRH) is committed to reaching the goal of engaging Europeans from every community in the heritage and culture of Europe. Founded in 2008, FRH is a non-profit, non-religious, organisation dedicated to building a Pan European Network of heritage connections devoted to providing European citizens with opportunities to participate in, and appreciate, all forms of heritage and culture throughout Europe.