Drawn Metal helps cathedral to throw open its doors

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architectural metalwork manufacturer Drawn Metal Group (DML) has completed a contract at Ripon Cathedral worth almost £250,000.

The Leeds-based company, which has a head count of 51 and a turnover of £7m, was appointed by York-headquartered building restoration specialist William Anelay for the project at the North Yorkshire landmark.

The Ripon Cathedral West Narthex Project, designed by Caroe Architecture, involved the installation of new glass porches at the west front of the cathedral, which was built over 1,300 years ago and attracts around 100,000 visitors every year.

Family-owned business DML, which was founded in 1924, provided three bronze porches for the ceremonial west doors, incorporating curved heads, new entrance doors and bespoke decorated glazed panels.

Keith Jukes, Dean of Ripon Cathedral, said: “This has created a more welcoming entrance to the cathedral and will allow us to keep the west doors permanently open during the daytime for the first time in almost 150 years.”

Robert Copping, managing director of DML, said: “What they wanted to do was open up the cathedral to bring more light and people, so it is a welcoming place for the public.

“The key challenges were making a structure that was strong enough to take the weight and the wind load of the big timber doors, because they are bearing on it, and to have the minimum fixings for the porches into the old stonework. It was quite a challenge and a relatively short period to manufacture it in.”

Jason Allott, contracts director at DML, said: “The scheme has been particularly interesting because of the challenge of mixing old and new methods and materials.

“It was crucial that we worked closely with the architectural team and client representatives as well as ensuring all the products we supplied fit with the aesthetic of a building that has stood there for hundreds of years.”

Oliver Caroe, of Caroe Architecture, who is architect to Ripon Cathedral and was recently appointed surveyor to St Paul’s Cathedral, said it was important that the design spoke 21st century.

Vernon Carter, managing director at William Anelay, added: “We are tremendously honoured to have worked once again on this iconic building and we are proud to continue the rich tradition of quality craftsmanship that is reflected throughout the cathedral. The end result is a cathedral entrance that will be enjoyed by visitors for generations to come.”

DML, which specialises in the design and manufacture of shopfronts, has worked on behalf of famous names including Banana Republic, Ferrari, Rolex and Tiffany & Co.

Mr Copping said of DML: “We have had the best order book we have had in three years and we are working on a lot of new projects.

“We are looking at new projects in London and if they come off then we will be employing more people.”