The Santa María Cathedral Foundation is the institution created to manage and develop the Master Plan for Comprehensive Restoration of the most emblematic church with the greatest historical value in Vitoria-Gasteiz. It was incorporated in 1999 by the Provincial Council of Álava, the City Council and the Bishopric of Vitoria-Gasteiz. It is a non-profit organization and its governing body consists of representatives of these three institutions.
The quality of the Master Plan has been recognised by the European Union, the Vatican, the Ministry of Culture and by prestigious national and international forums. It was awarded the Europa Nostra Prize (2002), the highest European award for recovery and conservation of the cultural heritage.
The research work carried out has provided knowledge of the constructive features of the church and its historical development. This enables proper definition of the operations required to solve the problems as they are detected. A further result of the rigorous methodology applied by the team is that a great deal of valuable information has been obtained about the origins of the city of Vitoria-Gasteiz.
The Santa María Cathedral Foundation not only manages the architectural restoration of the Cathedral but also develops cultural, educational and tourism-related activities that enhance its value as an instrument of cultural revitalisation for the City and its historic centre.