Case Study: Stannah at Liverpool Cathedral: Improving access for all mobility levels

Two Stannah lift products have improved access to two separate areas in Liverpool’s neo-gothic Anglican Cathedral – the largest in the UK and the fifth largest in the world – built on St James' Mount and the seat of the Bishop of Liverpool.

Officially titled the Cathedral Church of Christ in Liverpool, this Grade 1 listed sandstone edifice is of outstanding architectural interest. Commenced in 1904 and finished in 1978, it is an important focal point for the local community and visitors from further afield, combining spiritual comfort with uplifting cultural and social elements.

The bespoke passenger lift

Installed by the North West England & North Wales branch of Stannah Lift Services, the hydraulic-drive, bespoke glass, 8-person, 2-stop, through-car, MRL (machine room-less) passenger lift brings access for all to the beautiful lower-level Lady Chapel.

Standing at the far south east corner of the main building and more elaborate than the main Cathedral body, the Lady Chapel was the first part of the Cathedral to be consecrated for worship. It is a tranquil haven within the larger, active and vibrant main Cathedral.

People of all mobility levels, including wheelchair-users, can now access the Lady Chapel area for a period of quietness, prayer or reflective contemplation. They can also enjoy a grand view of the reredos (altarpiece) and principal windows from a balcony directly opposite the altar. This position also gives a good vantage point for seeing the newly restored window depicting the Presentation of Christ in the Temple, which was storm damaged and almost collapsed on the 8th January 2005.

First class specification

The unique requirements of this project could only be met by Stannah’s bespoke lift capability. The result was a stylish, functional passenger lift that fulfilled English Heritage’s criteria for this iconic Grade 1 listed building:

  • the centre line of the top floor door had to be central to the point of the existing stone arch;
  • the rear of the top serving entrance had to be clad in plaster board;
  • the lower level had to be fully glazed – to include a glass landing door – in order to minimise impact on the surrounding architecture and maximise the sense of space.

The lift’s machine room-less feature economically houses the operational elements in the lift structure itself and, by positioning the lift counterweight to the rear of the shaft, persons on the lower level corridor can see through the glass lift shaft when the lift is on the upper landing. The lift is programmed to relocate to the upper landing after a period of inactivity.

Model: bespoke passenger lift MRL – machine room-less with through-car

Load: up to 630kg (8 persons)

Speed: 1.0mps

Drive: hydraulic

Finish: satin stainless steel; plaster board cladding to upper station; fully glazed to lower station

Pit: 1100mm

Headroom: 3300mm

Power supply: 415v

First choice for Liverpool Cathedral

Working in partnership with the Cathedral’s building company, the bespoke passenger lift was supplied, installed, tested and commissioned by the Stannah Lift Services team to a specification by international consulting services company, Lerch Bates.

The Stairiser CR inclined platform lift

The Stairiser CR is sited in the Nave Well – a spectacular space and the ideal venue for intimate social and cultural functions such as exhibitions, galadinners, receptions, concerts and lectures. With stunning views across thecentral space to the High Altar, the Well offers a unique view of the Cathedral.

The lift takes wheelchair-users up and down a substantial curved stone staircase, bringing access to extra seating installed to accommodate rising attendance levels at the many occasions and attractions held in this impressive venue. Designed for occasional use, the Stairiser CR is safe and simple to operate and brings complete reassurance to user and companion alike. Installed in one day the lift is wall-mounted and folds flat against the rail when not in use.

Suitable for any run of stairs with a single turn, multiple landings or spiral configuration, this model is also available stanchion-mounted with a range of four platform sizes with end or side access.Total compliance

Both Stannah lift products help the Cathedral’s operators comply with the Equality Act 2010 and Part M Building Regulations.

“Before the arrival of our Stannah bespoke passenger lift, access to the Lady Chapel was by stairs only, so many of our visitors missed out on its valued presence in this magnificent Cathedral. Not only has the lift brought democratic access to the Chapel, it is sympathetic to the Gothic Revival architecture, complementing the ecclesiastical environment to become an integral part of the building.”
Stuart Haynes, Media Manager, Liverpool Cathedral

Total support Aftercare is delivered by the North West England & North Wales branch of Stannah Lift Services, part of a nationwide network providing 24 hour, 365 days a year support. This covers service, repair, modernisation and refurbishment of all types of lifts, stairlifts, escalators and moving walkways – not only those from the Stannah product range, but also other lift manufacturers’ equipment. Stannah also offers a bespoke lifts service, custom-building lifts to meet customers’ specific requirements.