£17m Auckland Castle development given go ahead
Plans for a £17m museum and restoration project at Auckland Castle have been given the green light.
The decision by Durham County Council to approve the transformative initiative is another significant milestone for the charitable trust seeking to breathe new life into the former home of England’s only Prince Bishop.
The news comes just days after Durham councillors also gave the go ahead for the Auckland Castle Trust to begin work on a £2.5m welcome building.
Now, this latest multi-million pound Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) backed development will see a two storey extension added on to the 16th century Scotland Wing to house a new immersive museum experience, exploring the history of faith in the British Isles.
The remainder of the centuries old castle will also be renovated.
Simon Davis, Project Manager for the Auckland Castle Trust, described the news as “another major advance” in the ambitious long term plans to revitalise both the visitor attraction and the town of Bishop Auckland where it sits.
“It’s the largest project we will be doing and it goes to the heart of not just bringing the castle to life and having more of it open to the public, but also the Trust’s desire to act as a catalyst for the economic regeneration of Bishop Auckland and the surrounding area.”
Dr Chris Ferguson, Auckland Castle’s Curatorial and Exhibition Director, added: “The restoration of the historic palace of the Prince Bishop of Durham is absolutely central to all our plans here in Bishop Auckland.
“Over 1,000 years old, it has always been core to the history of the region and the British Isles, but until this project, was arguably unknown to most people living in the North East.
“Restoring the grandeur of the palace will allow us to tell the stories of those who have lived, worked, and died here - both above and particularly, below, stairs.”
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