THE "Grand Organ" in one of the region's greatest seats of worship is to be refurbished at a cost of £2m.

The instrument at York Minster will be removed – including almost all of its 5263 pipes – and taken to Durham for repair and rebuilding by organ specialists Harrison and Harrison.

The project will take around two years to complete, with the restored instrument ready for use in autumn 2020.

Due to their regular use and environment, cathedral organs ideally require small-scale cleaning and adjustment every 15 to 20 years, with more extensive repairs carried out every 30 to 35 years and a major refurbishment every 100 years. The last major refurbishment of the Minster’s organ was carried out in 1903.

During the two years of work, the Minster’s full music programme will continue. A grand piano will be used alongside an existing chamber organ in the Quire and a digital organ will serve both the Nave and Quire.

A final series of concerts and recitals on the Grand Organ will take place at the Minster during 2018 before the instrument is removed in the autumn.