Heritage quarter hope for Castle

Paul Clarke, chief executive of the Duchy of Lancaster.
Paul Clarke, chief executive of the Duchy of Lancaster.
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LANCASTER Castle could become the focal point for a new Heritage Quarter in the city.

Paul Clarke, chief executive of the Duchy of Lancaster, visited the city last week and met with organisations with a direct interest in the castle and its future.

Speaking exclusively to the Lancaster Guardian, Mr Clarke said the Duchy, which owns the castle, would “be in it for the long haul” and relishes the challenges which the change of use of the castle will bring.

He also said Lancaster should have aspirations to be as successful as Oxford as a cultural and heritage attraction.

HMP Lancaster Castle closed in March after the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) decided the building was no longer suitable for use as a prison.

The MoJ’s lease came with a three-year notice period, which Mr Clarke said would be needed to come up with a viable commerical future for the Grade I Listed structure.

“I’ve set myself for September next year to have a fairly clear strategy, and then we have the next 18 months to go to parties who may be interested in taking it forward and realising the vision,” he said.

See the Lancaster Guardian (19-05-11) for full story.