Newark Castle gets £1.4 million in funding

Newark Castle, which dates back to the 12th century, has received a grant of £1.4 million that will allow visitors improved access to the medieval keep. The money was awarded to the Newark and Sherwood District Council by The National Lottery Heritage Fund.

This ground-breaking project will allow visitors into the Newark Castle’s original Romanesque Gatehouse where they’ll be able to learn more about the castle’s story through time as five gallery spaces bring its medieval history to life through fascinating, fun and interactive displays, designed by Nissen Richards Studio.


“This is absolutely wonderful news for the town, and is the final piece of the puzzle we’ve been waiting for to kick start this fantastic project,” says Councillor Rowan Cozens, Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Heritage, Culture and the Arts at Newark and Sherwood District Council. “Without the funding from National Lottery players and the Heritage Fund, we could not start the project, so I’m delighted they have made such a substantial grant to the project, and like us, could see the huge benefit this could bring to Newark. I thank them wholeheartedly.”

The project will enable people to discover the origins of the castle and explore the wealth of its history which dates back to the 12th century. There will also be a tower-top viewing platform from which visitors can overlook great views of Trent Valley. The project aims to enhance and protect the natural environment and green space within this historic site, establishing more biodiversity and enhancing accessibility through landscape development.


“We are delighted to be supporting these ambitious plans to revitalise the historic Newark Castle Gatehouse,” adds Robyn Llewellyn, Area Director, Midlands & East at The National Lottery Heritage Fund. “The story of the castle dates back to the 12th century, and it’s fantastic that support from National Lottery players will keep this historic site relevant for future generations.”

More than 600 visitors and non-visitors were initially consulted to help shape the development. The District Council then worked closely with historians, archaeologists, conservators, ecologists, access consultants, architects and designers to ensure that plans are robust and well-researched.

Photo by Richard Nevell / Flickr

It’s anticipated that, once works are completed, the Castle will attract almost 17,000 visitors each year from outside of the district, helping to deliver sustainable economic growth. It is proposed that entry to the exhibition will be half price for Newark and Sherwood residents, with free entry for children and young people. Visitors will also be able to return for free as many times as they like within a 12-month period. Access to the grounds will remain free for all.

“This project ensures accessibility and biodiversity remains at its very heart while providing a beautiful green space for our residents as well as our visitors,” Councillor Cozens adds. “It is hoped that increased visitors to the site will be a huge boost to our local economy too with local businesses having access to more people who can spend in their stores.


“The District Council is planning to use the grounds for a range of activities and events for all the community and entry to the galleries itself will be reduced for Newark and Sherwood residents. I’m incredibly excited about the future for Newark Castle and am waiting with eagerness for the next stage in its journey.”

Photo by Poliphilo / Wikimedia Commons

The town’s early evening economy will be supported too with plans to improve the lighting in the grounds to enable a safe ‘after dark’ experience.

The project will cost £5.4m in total, with a £3m investment already committed from Newark and Sherwood District Council’s application to the Government’s Towns Fund initiative through Newark Town’s board.


Work on the Castle is expected to take place in late 2024 with construction likely to take a couple of years.

Top Image: Photo by Richard Nevell / Wikimedia Commons