Castle gets £39k for restoration project

5 Aug 2014.......Clr Les Shaw at Pontefract Castle as it was announced that the castle has been awarded a �3m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Picture Scott Merrylees SM1004/50c
5 Aug 2014.......Clr Les Shaw at Pontefract Castle as it was announced that the castle has been awarded a �3m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Picture Scott Merrylees SM1004/50c

Pontefract Castle has received almost £40k towards a multi-million pound restoration project that is due to start this year.

The Wolfson Foundation has agreed to provide a grant of up to £39,000 towards the castle’s £3.5m Key to the North scheme.

The four-year project will allow parts of the castle not seen by the public since the 17th century to be opened up, along with a new visitor centre with a cafe and classroom facilities. The new grant will help pay for the exhibition displays planned for the visitor centre.

The scheme has already received a £3.05m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund and £455,000 from Wakefield Council and English Heritage.

It is hoped the initiative - which will start in May - will enable the castle to be removed from the English Heritage At Risk register and almost double the number of visitors to the site.

The Wolfson Foundation is an independent charity that awards grants to promote excellence in science and medicine, health and disability, education and the arts and humanities.

Coun Les Shaw, Wakefield Council’s portfolio holder for culture, leisure and sport, said: “We are delighted with this award. The new exhibition displays will be of high quality and offer visitors the opportunity to see a number of artefacts relating to the castle. These will include siege coins, a carriage wheel and a grenado dating back to the Civil Wars.”

Paul Ramsbottom, the charity’s chief executive, said: “The Wolfson Foundation is very pleased to be supporting Pontefract Castle through the exciting ‘Key to the North’ project.

“This will help bring to life the rich history of the building.”