Lichfield Cathedral is set to be restored in a multi-million pound project aimed at strengthening its position as one of the country's greatest church buildings.
Yesterday, church leaders announced the appointment of Birmingham-based architects Kinetic-AIU Limited for the restoration project.
The company specialises in creating sustainable buildings and has been asked to draw up plans for an improved 'visitor experience' at the cathedral.
It was appointed six months after the publication of interim plans for the new development, following an open competition which attracted entries from leading practices across the country.
In addition, the diocese has revealed the redevelopment will lead to the creation of new jobs and a new learning centre in Cathedral Close.
It has also proposed to restore the historic lime avenue leading into the road and has said the cathedral will feature on a new Royal Mail first class stamp due out in May.
The development will see the creation of an area, bringing together the cathedral's trading and catering activities into one place, while housing all services to visitors and pilgrims.
Work will begin next April and should continue until 2016 with the restoration of the historic Herkenrode windows in the east end of the cathedral.
It is hoped the bulk of the building work will be completed by Easter 2011, to coincide with the 400th anniversary celebrations of the King James' Bible and the Regional Cultural Olympiad.
The Dean of Lichfield, the Very Rev Adrian Dorber, said: "We want to de-clutter the cathedral and allow it to stand tall as a magnificent sacred place for tourists and visitors, and over the next two years we will fine-tune our plans for working with double the number of visitors and pilgrims.
"We will experiment with different ways of working, exhibiting and interpreting to find the best ways of doing this."