A CATHEDRAL has appointed a new architect.

Chris Cotton has started work as conservation architect at Durham Cathedral, having previously been a consultant architect working on the first phase of the Cathedral’s Open Treasure project, which has seen a new shop created.

One of Mr Cotton’s first jobs will be to compile a full report on the condition of all the Cathedral buildings.

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The York-based professional said: “It’s a huge task but it really needs to be done and then we can really start addressing some of the challenges that are presented with respect to the condition of the fabric.

“It’s generally in good condition but, as with any old building, there’s an ongoing need for conservation and repair.”

Mr Cotton will also work on Open Treasure phase two, to create new exhibition spaces in the Cathedral.

A specialist in historic buildings, he has previously worked on St Paul’s and Wells cathedrals.

The Hexham-born architect said he was absolutely thrilled on his appointment.

“Durham has always been a very special place to me and it’s an absolute privilege to be working here.

“It’s one of the most fabulous pieces of architecture in Britain and, I feel, western Europe.

“I particularly like the Romanesque character. It has great solidarity, with beautiful stonework and fantastic carving.

“As you approach Durham, either by train or from the city, the presence of the Cathedral is a wonderful thing.”