Newark and Sherwood District Council agree to submit £1m funding bid to National Lottery Heritage Fund for Castle Gatehouse Project
A funding application is to be submitted as plans to turn Newark Castle into an visitor attraction progress.
Newark and Sherwood District Council’s cabinet considered the proposal to submit a delivery phase application for £1,322,343, subject to minor amendments, to the National Lottery Heritage Fund at a meeting on Tuesday, October 31.
The application needed to be submitted by November 16, in order to meet further deadlines for the Towns Fund, on which the project relies.
Subject to the outcome of both, councillors also agreed that a report be brought back to cabinet to consider the increase to the capital programme budget from the Heritage Fund and to add additional staff, funded by the project.
The £5m project is set to reinstate the original Romanesque Gatehouse as the entrance to the castle.
It will create five gallery spaces which follow the castle’s story through time and bring its medieval history to life through interactive models, real and replica tactile objects and furniture, embroideries, trails and play, designed by Nissen Richards Studio, a tower viewing platform and enhanced gardens.
It aims to become an iconic, flagship destination at the gateway to the town, which will increase footfall and boost the economy as well as showcasing Newark’s history.
Accessibility is also a priority in the plans, improving people’s access to heritage and culture, maintaining the Victorian-era commitment to provide a public space for everyone to enjoy while taking into account modern needs.
A report to the council said: “It will connect local communities and disadvantaged groups to their local history through participatory activity and events, and will strive to remove physical, economic and social barriers to accessing their heritage.
“A key aim is to promote the historic gardens as a safe and welcoming biodiverse green space, using lighting to enhance key architectural features as well as social and heritage significance, elevating the ‘after darkness’ experience to extend access times and support the early evening economy.”
The scheme has already been supported by National Lottery Heritage Funding, as in March 2022 the council were awarded development stage funding to progress the project.
Cabinet members also approved the preferred charging method for the attraction, with an adult entry charge of £8, no concessions and free entry for children.
It will include free return within 12 months, and a joint ticket with the National Civil War Centre will cost £12 for adults.
Additionally, there will be a 50% discount for Newark and Sherwood residents.