A scheme by Purcell and Niall McLaughlin Architects to revamp the 800-year-old Auckland Castle has won a £9 million boost from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF)
The award means that Auckland Castle Trust can push ahead with planning applications granted permission in April. The £17million project will see the former home of the Bishop of Durham transformed into a major heritage site.
The trust’s chief executive, David Ronn, said the size of the award proved that the North East was being taken seriously by the Heritage Lottery Fund. He said: ‘Regeneration and growth, both of the castle and the town, has always been central to the trust’s long-term plans, and the development of a new museum wing and the renovation of the castle go to the heart of that.’
The extension of the 16th century Scotland wing of the castle will contain a new gallery housing rare paintings by Spanish artist Francisco de Zurbarán.
It will also house 11 galleries exploring the history of faith in the British Isles.
The building, designed by Niall McLaughlin in association with Purcell, echoes wooden Anglo Saxon churches of the 6th and 7th centuries.
The HLF had already awarded initial support of £1m in 2013 to develop the proposals, taking the granting body’s total commitment to the project to £10 million. The trust will provide the remaining £7 million needed to complete the upgrade.
The extension and refurbishment of the Scotland wing is part of a wider £60 million scheme of improvements at the castle.
A separate contemporary-design tower, also designed by Niall McLaughin Architects, won planning permission in April.
It will provide an information point, ticket office, toilets, and a shop, along with a viewing platform providing views of the surrounding landscape. A new energy centre and faith garden have also been approved by the council at the site.
Meanwhile the HLF has handed the Manchester Jewish Museum nearly £427,000 towards a £5million project to develop its building and exhibitions.
The museum, which will begin its search for an architect in August, is using the money to build an extension for new galleries and learning spaces and to restore the former synagogue building (1874).