Councillor Lucy Hodgson, Chair of the Joint Museums Committee visited Hartlebury Castle to meet the new project staff team working to turn the site into a major visitor attraction. Alongside meeting the team, Councillor Hodgson was shown some of the work which has now commenced on site.
The newly formed project staff team includes Mark Davies, Director; Penelope Thomas, Activities Officer and Jacqueline Smith, Volunteer Co-ordinator. Alongside managing the development work for the site, the team will arrange events and community projects, including an Oral History project beginning later this month.
Works which have commenced on site include the building of a new car park, which will provide an extra 44 spaces, and landscaping works in the gardens.
The Hartlebury Castle project is run through the hard work of the Hartlebury Castle Preservation Trust, and supported by £5million from the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). The grant has made it possible for the Trust to purchase the site and conserve and preserve the historic Castle and its valuable assets.
Councillor Hodgson, who is also Cabinet Member with Responsibility for Localism and Communities at the County Council, is a supporter of the project, which received a funding contribution from Worcestershire County Council.
Councillor Hodgson said "It's fantastic news that work has started on the Castle and it was lovely to meet the new staff. Working together with HLF it will be great to see the Castle restored and brought back to life."
Robert Greenwood, Trustee of the Hartlebury Castle Preservation Trust said "After 6 years working with HLF, it's wonderful to see work starting on site. It's a new chapter for the Trust, especially having staff full time on site, dedicated to the project, our volunteers and all the activities that will follow from there. Thanks too to the players of the National Lottery, who enable HLF to support projects such as ours."
While work runs on site, Worcestershire County Museum will remain open to the public. Both the Museum and the Trust will be hosting events throughout the year.