New visitor centre opens at Pontefract Castle

01/06/2017, PR8569

​A new visitor centre at Pontefract Castle – featuring a café, shop and museum space has opened its doors to the public. The project has been made possible thanks to a £3.04m National Lottery grant.

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.

Cllr Jacquie Speight  at the new Visitor Centre at Pontefract Castle
Cllr Jacquie Speight at the new Visitor Centre at Pontefract Castle

​Cllr Jacquie Speight, Portfolio Holder for Culture, Leisure and Sport, said: "We are really looking forward to welcoming visitors to our new visitor centre which is really wonderful and offers first class facilities. 

"The old derelict arts and crafts barn has been beautifully restored and given a modern extension. We can now offer an activity zone for school learning sessions, meetings, craft activities and so on.  In addition there are modern toilets and a baby changing facility, a welcoming shop that offers visitors information about other nearby attractions, a museum space and a café with indoor and outdoor seating."

The museum space includes artefacts found in Pontefract such as a carriage wheel and siege coins.

Anthony Hegney, Director of Asparagus Green, who will be running The Liquorice Café, said: "We are delighted to be part of such a great project at Pontefract Castle and are looking forward to welcoming people to the new purpose built café on site.

"We will be focusing on the best of Yorkshire produce, with a hint of liquorice wherever possible, in recognition of the historic significance of the plant to the town."

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


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