Pontefract Castle visitor centre officially opened

11/07/2017, PR8599

​The new visitor centre at Pontefract Castle has been officially opened by Council Leader, Cllr Peter Box.

​The centre, featuring a café, shop and museum space, opened its doors to the public last month, thanks to support from National Lottery players.

Cllr Peter Box CBE, Leader of Wakefield Council, said: "I was pleased to open the new visitor centre at Pontefract Castle. The new museum space helps to bring the fascinating history of the site to life.

"The old barn has been converted to house these first class facilities available for residents and visitors to enjoy. I hope it will encourage even more people to visit the castle and learn more about our local heritage."

The centre also includes an activity zone for school learning sessions, meetings and craft activities and new facilities including modern toilets and a baby changing.

The project has been made possible thanks to a £3.04m National Lottery grant.

David Renwick, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Yorkshire & the Humber, said: "Pontefract Castle has a long and colourful history, and has frequently found itself at the centre of national events, as a royal residence where Richard II was murdered, under siege during the Civil War, and immortalised twice in Shakespearean verse. We are delighted that National Lottery players have been able to support the restoration of this beautiful arts and crafts barn to bring the site to life, and enable school sessions, craft activities and meetings, alongside a museum space and café".

The centre is part of the £3.5 million Key to the North project and its opening is an important milestone in the developments that will see the site transformed by the end of the year.

The Key to the North Project has also received funding from Historic England, Wakefield Council, the Wolfson Foundation and EPaC, a landfill charity.

For more information about the new visitor centre and Pontefract Castle visit www.pontefractcastle.co.uk

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