DURHAM cathedral underwent a dramatic transformation to host a lavish black-tie event, which has raised more than £75,000.

The event was staged by The North East Chamber of Commerce.

The event was raising money for the cathedral’s Foundation 2020 campaign, which will be used to repair and conserve the fabric of the historic building.

The guest of honour was Sunderland-born TV architect George Clarke, who was inspired to join the profession after visiting the medieval cathedral with his grandad when he was seven.

He said: “Durham Cathedral creates a sense of wonder that puts my amazing space projects to shame and captures everything that is great about the North East. This building represents the region’s strength, determination and Northern grit.”

The Very Reverend Andrew Tremlett, Dean of Durham added: “The cathedral has always been at the heart of the community, so it was our very great pleasure to welcome leaders from the region’s business community into their cathedral for this spectacular event.”

“Thanks to their generosity in supporting the Cathedral’s Foundation 2020 fundraising campaign, we’re a step closer to reaching our target.

Chamber president John McCabe used the event to discuss challenges to the North-East posed by Brexit.

He said: “Politics is said to be the art of the possible and yet in my lifetime I cannot recall a period when national political leaders across the spectrum have appeared so out of touch, so far removed from the realities of daily life. On our relationship with Europe and on our global trading arrangements too many questions remain unanswered and businesses cannot plan for the future in a climate of such uncertainty.”

“Unless Government listens to businesses and negotiates a Brexit that allows our firms open and unfettered access to key markets, then it will do a disservice to every business that wants to create and sustain jobs.”