Newark Castle Gatehouse transformation earmarked for Government funding

14 August 2020

An ambitious plan to turn Newark Castle’s historic Gatehouse into a highly visible, major attraction for residents and visitors alike has been earmarked to benefit from multi-million pound Government funding.

The project, which aims to restore the original moat bridge entrance from Beast Market Hill, introduce a first floor walk-way and provide a viewing area at roof level to allow views over the town, forms part of Newark Towns Fund Board’s application for the Towns Fund, a Government pledge to invest up to £25 million into the town.

The proposals also include the creation of education and community space, alongside a programme of workshops, events and activities to encourage engagement with heritage, including ‘have-a-go’ activities, such as ‘be an archaeologist’ and ‘bow and arrow making’. It is expected that the proposal will generate up to an additional 20,000 visitors a year.

Councillor David Lloyd, Co-chair of the Newark Towns Fund Board and Leader of Newark and Sherwood District Council, said: “For many local people, the Castle, its Gatehouse and grounds represent an immense source of pride for the town.

“As a transformed, highly visible gateway to our town and visitor attraction, the Castle project has the potential to bring significant numbers of new visitors to the town and will substantially enhance the town centre for the benefit of businesses, visitors and residents alike.”

Partial funding from Newark Town Council and Newark and Sherwood District Council is committed and further funding is expected from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Towns Fund investment would be the final funding piece to enable the project to be delivered.

Feedback from the Board’s public consultation on the future of Newark identified the need to bring heritage buildings back into use and maximise tourist assets.

The publicly accessible spaces in the Northwest and Gatehouse towers will provide a venue for exciting and interactive displays and exhibitions, which will be fully wheelchair accessible via the installation of a platform lift.

The Board’s vision is to create a better sense of wayfinding from the Castle area through to the town’s Market Place, Grade 1 listed parish church and through to the National Civil War Centre.

The project is the result of many years of research in finding better ways the Castle can be better conserved and managed. Consultation undertaken in 2019 indicated that over 80 per cent of respondents were in support of the proposals and thought the plans would encourage more visitors.

Further information is available at https://www.newark-sherwooddc.gov.uk/business/newarktownsfund/.

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