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Westcott House Cambridge awarded major grant for Accessibility Project

Westcott House Theological College in Cambridge has been awarded a significant grant from a UK-based charitable trust towards a major project to improve accessibility across the college site and buildings.

Westcott House Cambridge has been awarded funding towards an accessibility project that will ultimately create independent access to all shared spaces and teaching rooms in college, as well as some of the residential accommodation.

Photo Credit: Archangel Architects

The accessibility project will enable staff members, students, and family members who use a wheelchair or have other mobility needs to live, worship, work and study independently at Westcott House.

Key elements of the project are:

  • New shared access between the upper and lower levels in the main college court, Old Court, overcoming a 1m drop currently served only by steps.
  • Level access to Reception, the Common Room, to a new meeting room, and to the Principal’s and Chaplain’s offices.
  • Lift access to teaching staff members’ offices and to all teaching spaces.
  • Level access throughout the College Chapel to allow full access for members of the community and visitors to share in or lead worship, and to preside at the Eucharist.

Photo Credit: Archangel Architects

Westcott House has worked with Archangel Architects, Cambridge, to develop a project that enhances the beauty of the Arts and Crafts style college buildings and garden setting, whilst integrating new access that reflects the inclusive nature of the Westcott House community.

The Revd Dr Helen Dawes, Principal of Westcott House, said:

‘I am delighted that this accessibility project will enable us to make our sacramental and inclusive ethos increasingly visible in the fabric of our site – it will transform the welcome we are able to offer.’

The Rt Revd Paul Ferguson, Chair of Trustees, Westcott House, and Bishop of Whitby said:

‘Investing in the future of Westcott House is a sign of our commitment to investing in the future of the Church. Generations of clergy have been prepared for ministry at Westcott House, and with this project we will continue our tradition of resourcing the needs of the Church in a changing world.’

Writing in support of the project, the Rt Revd Mark Tanner, Bishop of Chester and Chair of the Church of England Ministry Council, said:

‘It is really important that the Church of England offers training for ministry that is fully accessible to ordinands and clergy with a range of access needs. The plans Westcott House hopes to put in place will make a significant contribution to that task.’

The Revd Rachel Rosborough, Vice Principal of Westcott House and project lead, said:

‘The Westcott House site is beautiful but there are significant practical challenges to making it fully accessible. A great deal of work and prayer has gone into bringing us to this point and I am excited that we have reached this milestone on our journey.’

Nigel Walter, director of Archangel Architects said:

‘The issues faced by Westcott House are common to many Cambridge colleges, which were rarely built with accessibility in mind. Changing listed buildings requires great sensitivity to ensure that their historic character is maintained whilst improving accessibility for all.

Find out more about how you can support the work of Westcott House.