Views on future of castle given

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More than 2,000 people turned out to give their views on the future of Lancaster castle.

The great John O’Gaunt Gate was thrown open for the four-day public consultation event held in the former prison visitors’ centre, where concepts for the castle’s future use were unveiled.

Hundreds of people took the opportunity to step into the courtyard of the former HMP Lancaster Castle, to visit the exhibition and give their thoughts on the Duchy’s proposals for a mixed-use public space with visitor attraction and boutique hotel.

Just over a quarter of visitors filled in a feedback form and recorded their support or opposition to the proposals.

When asked if they supported the proposals, 66% of respondents said yes, 30% said yes with reservations, and 2% said no (2% were unmarked). Paul Clarke, CEO of the Duchy of Lancaster, said: ““We are very pleased that people took the time to visit the exhibition, ask questions and give us their thoughts and ideas.”

The feedback will now be formally analysed and, following completion of the Duchy’s financial viability studies, a planning application will be drawn up and submitted by early 2014.

It is hoped work would start by the end of 2014 and the new development could be open by spring 2017.