A NEW director has been appointed to oversee the maintenance, restoration and conservation of the largest medieval, gothic cathedral north of the Alps.

York Minster’s new director of works and precinct, Alex McCallion, has joined from real estate provider Savills, where he worked as a director in the planning team.

A chartered planning and development surveyor by trade, he is a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and brings considerable experience developing master-planning projects within the heritage sector.

His role at the Minster involves overseeing the maintenance, restoration and conservation of the cathedral and its precinct properties and services.

His immediate priorities include the conservation of the South Quire Aisle – an £11m project which will take more than a decade to complete.

Other key projects include overseeing the design and commissioning of a new sound system for the cathedral and publishing a five-year plan for the maintenance of the Minster and its precinct properties, including reducing its carbon footprint.

“The Minster is one of my favourite buildings,” he said.

“I love the fact that every time I enter it I discover new things and find out more about the intricate layers of history within the cathedral.

“I’d often thought over the years what an amazing place the Minster would be to work and so I’m still pinching myself at times that I’m here in this role.

"I’m looking forward to being part of the team which cares for this wonderful place at the start of an exciting period in the Minster’s history."