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Lottery grant to help castle gatehouse work

Posted onPosted on 13th May

Newark and Sherwood District Council has received a grant of £1.4m from The National Lottery Heritage Fund for its ambitious plans to create a new and improved visitor attraction at Newark Castle.

The project will allow visitors into the Newark Castle’s original Romanesque gatehouse, where they will be able to learn more about the castle’s story through time.

Five gallery spaces will bring its medieval history to life through interactive displays, designed by Nissen Richards Studio.

Coun Rowan Cozens, deputy leader and portfolio holder for Heritage, Culture and the Arts at the council, said: “This is wonderful news for the town, and is the final piece of the puzzle we’ve been waiting for to kickstart this fantastic project.

“Without the funding from National Lottery players and the Heritage Fund, we could not start the project, so I’m delighted they have made such a substantial grant. I thank them wholeheartedly.”

Robyn Llewellyn, area director, Midlands & East at The National Lottery Heritage Fund, added: “We are delighted to be supporting these ambitious plans. The story of the castle dates to the 12th Century, and it’s fantastic that support from National Lottery players will keep this historic site relevant for future generations.”

There will also be a tower-top viewing platform, from which visitors can overlook the Trent Valley. The project aims to enhance and protect the natural environment and green space in the historic site, establishing more biodiversity and enhancing accessibility through landscape development.

More than 600 visitors and non-visitors were initially consulted to help shape the development. The council then worked closely with historians, archaeologists, conservators, ecologists, access consultants, architects, and designers.

Local people’s ideas were considered and have been incorporated in the final design. HE Milner’s flowerbed will remain, and the gardens will be physically accessible for everyone.

It’s anticipated that once work is complete, the castle will attract almost 17,000 visitors each year from outside the district.

Entry to the exhibition is expected to be half price for Newark and Sherwood residents, with free entry for children and young people. Visitors will also be able to return for free as many times as they like in a 12-month period. Access to the grounds will remain free for all.

Coun Cozens added: “This project ensures accessibility and biodiversity remains at its very heart while providing a beautiful green space. It is hoped that increased visitors to the site will be a huge boost to our local economy too, with local businesses having access to more people who can spend in their stores.

“The council is planning to use the grounds for a range of activities and events for all the community. I’m incredibly excited about the future for Newark Castle and am waiting with eagerness for the next stage in its journey.”