Common Ground in Sacred Space

year Ongoing

category Arts and Culture, Historic Buildings

client The Chapter of St Nicholas’ Cathedral

location Newcastle Upon Tyne

project value £4.5M

TGA Consulting Engineers are appointed as part of a wider design team to provide Conservation Building Services and Specialist Lighting design for this major redevelopment scheme at St Nicholas Cathedral in Newcastle.

Project Summary

TGA, working closely with the Chapter and Cathedral Architect as part of this Heritage Lottery Funded scheme, are developing design information to support this major project at the Cathedral. 

The works will comprise internal alterations to provide a more flexible and more community focussed Nave area, including the removal of all pews. New interpretation facilities within the Cathedral will also be provided as well as improvements to the connected Cathedral Hall to improve access. 

There will be further remodelling works to the external areas surrounding the Cathedral, including to the south and east sides to encourage use by the public and enabling events such as markets and open air theatre to be supported. 

TGA have developed design information over a number of years in support of this major redevelopment and repurposing of the internal spaces, with underfloor heating being a key part of the internal transformation being proposed.  

It is proposed to introduce underfloor heating in the Nave of the Cathedral as the building is almost continually in use and can benefit from a relatively slow responding heating system that is able to maintain comfortable conditions throughout the space, efficiently and with little impact on aesthetics. Such an approach is also beneficial to the preservation of the porous historic building fabric. 


The heating system will utilise air source heat pumps, along with conventional gas fired boilers, to supply heat efficiently to the new installation. 

 TGA’s inhouse specialist lighting designers (TGA|SL) have also been separately engaged to provide specialist lighting design input into the replacement and enhancement of the lighting installation within the Cathedral Church. This includes an upgrade to a previous lighting scheme, including more appropriate lighting, improved emergency lighting and more flexible lighting controls, whilst retaining existing lighting infrastructure cabling to minimise impact on the building fabric.  

TGA|SL are also currently investigating options to illuminate the Cathedral Bell Tower, with options including internal illumination of the bell tower to provide an evening ‘glow’ from the existing bell tower louvres.