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First look at latest plans for multi-million pound revamp of Norwich’s Castle keep

PUBLISHED: 06:30 08 February 2018 | UPDATED: 12:40 08 February 2018

How the recreated Great Hall in Norwich Castle's Keep could look. Pic: Haley Sharpe Design

How the recreated Great Hall in Norwich Castle's Keep could look. Pic: Haley Sharpe Design

Haley Sharpe Design

These images show how Norwich’s Castle keep could look as part of an ambitious project to restore it to its former glory as a medieval palace.

An illustration of how the displays in the revamped Norwich Castle Keep could look. Pic: Haley Sharpe Design An illustration of how the displays in the revamped Norwich Castle Keep could look. Pic: Haley Sharpe Design

And bosses at Norwich Castle, who will today outline their aspirations for the £13.5m project to city councillors, say a planning application for the project should be lodged within months.

Museum bosses want to recreate how the 900-year-old building looked when it was one of most majestic Norman keeps in Europe - and, helped by the British Museum, to create a major museum of the medieval period at the castle.

Some of the most remarkable objects from the London museum’s medieval collections would be go on display in Norwich.

And, that could attract 100,000 extra visitors a year, which would provide a huge boost for the local economy.

Dr John Davies, who is leading the Norwich Castle keep project. Picture : ANTONY KELLY Dr John Davies, who is leading the Norwich Castle keep project. Picture : ANTONY KELLY

At City Hall today, councillors will be get a preview of the upcoming planning application for the change, which is due to be lodged over the next couple of months.

Dr John Davies, chief curator at Norfolk Museums Service, who is leading the project, said: “There’s a lot of planning processes we need to go through and I’d stress that we are still going through consultation.

“But this is the start of the formal process for planning permission. It’s a very intense process. We are involved in discussions with Historic England all the time, because everything has to pass muster with them. It has to cherish and care for the building and that is absolutely paramount.

“We are not destroying anything, but looking to enhance the interpretation. We are looking for it to be a much more attractive experience.”

Norwich Castle.
Picture: ANTONY KELLY Norwich Castle. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

More than 90pc of the money has been raised for the Gateway to Medieval England project, including £9.2m from Heritage Lottery Fund.

But last year, the museum launched a campaign to raise £50,000 from the public through the Keep Giving Appeal.

People can donate via donation boxes in the castle, by texting Keep17 and your donation amount to 70070, by visiting www.justgiving.com or by sending a cheque payable to Norfolk Museums Development Foundation to Keep Giving, Shirehall, Market Avenue, Norwich NR1 3JQ.

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