£3.5m castle project gets underway

Coun Les Shaw, Wakefield Council's cabinet member for culture, leisure and sport, Coun Clive Tennent and Charles Aneley chairman of William Anelay Ltd, York

Coun Les Shaw, Wakefield Council's cabinet member for culture, leisure and sport, Coun Clive Tennent and Charles Aneley chairman of William Anelay Ltd, York

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Work on a multi-million pound project to restore Pontefract Castle will get underway this month.

The £3.5m Key to the North project will see parts of the castle which have been closed since the 17th century attraction was opened up to the public.

Wakefield Council has now appointed construction company William Anelay as the contractor for the scheme .

Coun Les Shaw, Wakefield Council’s cabinet member for culture, leisure and sport, said: “We are pleased to announce the appointment of William Anelay as the contractor to carry out 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.”

The scheme has been funded through a £3.045m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) along with another £455,000 from the council and English Heritage.

As part of the four-year project a new visitor centre, with a cafe and classroom facilities will also be opened.

Charles Anelay, chairman of William Anelay, said: “We are thrilled to have been awarded this important project, especially for 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.”

Work to remove trees from parts of the castle site was carried out earlier this year.