Computer Service Centre backs campaign to transform Norwich Castle Keep
Archant © 2018
A Norfolk technology company specialist has given its backing to a major campaign to restore the Norwich Castle Keep to its former glory.
Computer Service Centre has backed the £13.5m project which will transform the building into its original form as the palatial residence of Norman kings.
The Norwich-based business has become the first corporate benefactor for the Norwich Castle: Gateway to Medieval England project, having already adopted the castle’s dragon, Snap, during the Keep Giving public fundraising campaign.
Jeremy Clarke, Computer Service Centre director, said the company had been impressed at the ambition of the plans to restore the building, but also its proposed links with schools and families, and the potential for new jobs.
“The cutting edge displays and interpretation in the redeveloped keep will offer an immersive and exciting environment, while new spaces opened up through the project will enable Norwich Castle to offer more school children than ever before a remarkable learning experience – a medieval gallery with high-quality objects of international importance within the surroundings of a Norman royal castle, combined with the first accessible rooftop platform in a UK castle.
“As a technology company, we understand that innovation and imagination are key to the future prosperity and wellbeing of our community and these need to be fostered from an early age – by coming on board with the Gateway to Medieval England project we can play our part in helping to grow opportunities for our young people.”
The deal means Computer Service Centre can access benefits including free tickets for staff, hospitality use of the transformed keep, and behind-the-scenes tours led by curators.
Jo Warr, head of development at Norfolk Museums Service, thanked the company for its support.
“This is a huge vote of confidence in the Gateway to Medieval England project from a successful Norwich business which recognises the long-term impact the transformation of the keep will bring to the city.”
The completion of the project is expected to bring an additional 80,000 a year and create a new hospitality and events venue.
Other corporate opportunities are available for businesses, starting from £1,000, as the campaign aims to reach £250,000 by June.
John Ward, chairman of Norfolk County Council and of the Norfolk Joint Museums Committee said corporate support was crucial.
“We are hoping that businesses will want to support this once-in-a-lifetime development and be part of something that puts Norfolk on the international map. In return, corporate supporters will be associated with one of the most prestigious and ambitious heritage projects in the UK which is backed by major investment from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
“Together we have the opportunity to achieve something truly unique with this project – we are delighted that Computer Service Centre has blazed a trail which we are sure others will want to follow.”
The Gateway to Medieval England project, which is also being backed by Archant, will return the keep to its appearance under the great Norman kings. The redeveloped keep is due to open in 2020. The project will:
• Secure the future of the 900-year-old monument and interpret the building in engaging and historically accurate ways;
• Reinstate the medieval floor levels of the keep to make all five levels fully accessible for the first time in its history, from basement to battlements;
• Develop the first permanent British Museum Partnership Gallery in the region to showcase nationally important medieval treasures;
• Transform the quality and depth of the visitor experience from arrival in the Castle grounds;
• Create a powerful learning experience for families, community groups and schools.
Over 90% of the £13.5 million target for the project has already been raised through a combination of major grants from the Heritage Lottery Fund and trusts and foundations, alongside contributions from the Keep Giving public fundraising and corporate campaigns.
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