Bid to create new indoor space at monument

Crowds enjoy one of the regular themed events at Lancaster Castle
Crowds enjoy one of the regular themed events at Lancaster Castle

Soaring visitor numbers are behind job-boosting plans to turn Lancaster Castle into a landmark wedding and party venue.

The Duchy of Lancaster wants to convert the 19th century former prison building next to the NICE at The Castle cafe into an indoor space.

It would act as an extension of the cafe, cater for another 60 people and host wedding receptions, conferences, parties, medieval banquet nights and theatre productions.

Events manager Francesca Lewis said: “We want to develop a greater offering at Lancaster Castle. Visitor numbers have increased dramatically with all the events we have put on. The castle has so much potential.”

She said the work would create new jobs and help the Grade I listed castle, opened publicly last spring, become a bigger and better venue.

The revamped building would also be a refreshment space for coach parties and a shelter in bad weather.

The prison closed in February 2012. Since then, the prison visits building has beenadapted to form a café and base for tours. The building set for the latest development was an offender management unit and dates from before 1846.

The city council received a listed building application for the work this week.