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Funding boost for Norwich Castle’s ambitious plan for its historic keep

PUBLISHED: 16:21 01 June 2018 | UPDATED: 18:14 01 June 2018

Norwich Castle. Photo: Nick Butcher

Norwich Castle. Photo: Nick Butcher

Archant © 2017

Norwich Castle’s ambitious plan for the future of its historic keep has received a £500,000 funding boost.

The model of the Castle and its defences and boundaries as they were in the 12th century, in the Square Box on the Hill exhibition of the history of Norwich Castle. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe model of the Castle and its defences and boundaries as they were in the 12th century, in the Square Box on the Hill exhibition of the history of Norwich Castle. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The £13m Norwich Castle: Gateway to Medieval England project - which aims to restore the keep back to how it was in the days of the Norman kings - has been given the latest funding from New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership’s Growing Places Fund.

It comes as nearly 60,000 visitors have flocked to the castle’s The Square Box on the Hill exhibition which looks at the landmark’s 900-year history and closes this Sunday after nearly a four-month run.

John Ward, Norfolk Joint Museums Committee chairman, described New Anglia LEP’s funding as a “huge vote of confidence” in the Gateway to Medieval England project which includes recreating the keep’s main Norman floor and great hall, creating a medieval gallery in partnership with the British Museum, and improving access for people with disabilities.

He said: “This support will help secure the future of this important historic monument, ensuring that it is interpreted in an engaging and exciting way, which meets visitor expectations and makes the building fully accessible, physically and intellectually, for the first time in its 900-year history.

The Keep Giving campaign at Norwich Castle, encouraging people to Adopt an Object from the castle keep. The castle keep which will soon be changing from how it looks today. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe Keep Giving campaign at Norwich Castle, encouraging people to Adopt an Object from the castle keep. The castle keep which will soon be changing from how it looks today. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

“We’re very grateful to the LEP for this investment which, along with major support from the Heritage Lottery Fund and local funders and sponsors, will enable us to realise a long-cherished vision for the keep, that will bring significant economic benefits to the region.”

New Anglia LEP has also given £250,000 to Gainsborough’s House, in Sudbury.

Doug Field, New Anglia LEP’s chairman, said both cultural venues were among the region’s “most valuable assets.”

He said: “Our offer to the world is a key theme of the economic strategy for Norfolk and Suffolk, recognising the vital part the cultural sector plays in driving our visitor economy. Both these projects will make a tangible contribution to that offer, while making the east an even more inspiring place to live, work, visit and invest.”

Norwich Castle as Royal Palace: An artist's impression of the Castle Keep with the reinstated Norman layout.
Photo: Norfolk Museums ServiceNorwich Castle as Royal Palace: An artist's impression of the Castle Keep with the reinstated Norman layout. Photo: Norfolk Museums Service

Meanwhile the castle’s Keep Giving public appeal has raised £21,700. People can support the appeal by adopting objects from the castle’s collections at www.adoptanobject.co.uk

The Square Box on the Hill is at Norwich Castle until Sunday - visit www.museums.norfolk.gov.uk

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