Pontefract Castle 2
Image Source: Tim Green aka atoach
Nick Hill

£3.5m Pontefract Castle project to begin in September

The £3.5m Key to the North project on site at Pontefract Castle is set to begin this September.

William Anelay Ltd, one of the country’s oldest construction companies which specialises in the restoration and conservation of listed and historic buildings, has been appointed contractor for the works.

This includes conservation work to the monument that will take the castle off Historic England’s At Risk register and restore and extend the Arts and Crafts barn to provide improved learning facilities, a shop, exhibition space and a café.

As part of the multi-million pound contract, parts of the site not seen by the public for many years will be opened once again, including the Sally Port.

The project is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) which has awarded it £3.04m, with other funding from Historic England, the Council, the Wolfson Foundation and landfill charity EPaC.

Cllr Les Shaw, Wakefield Council’s cabinet member for culture, leisure and sport, said: “We are pleased to announce the appointment of William Anelay Ltd as the contractor to carry out the capital part of this exciting project that will secure the future of the castle for future generations.

“They are well known for their work on historic sites and I’m sure they will carry out a first class job at Pontefract Castle. I am really looking forward to seeing the work get underway after the many months of hard work it has taken to get to this point.”

Charles Anelay, company chairman at William Anelay Ltd, added: “We are thrilled to have been awarded this important project, especially those of our guys who live nearby! The Castle contains so much history and we are looking forward to making our contribution to securing its future. Our workmen will be using a mixture of modern conservation methods, and traditional repairs to keep the feel of the Castle intact, and completely transforming the Barn as a new, modern visitor centre. There is a lot to do.”

Tammy Whitaker, Planning and Conservation Director Historic England Yorkshire, also commented: “We are very pleased to be supporting this project and to see how the site will be transformed over the coming year.

“This is the start of a new chapter in the life of Pontefract Castle with works to repair the castle ruins as well as providing a new and exciting visitor experience. Once the repairs have been completed, the Castle will no longer be at risk and it’s hoped we can remove the site from our Heritage at Risk register next year.”

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