Heritage launch boost

22nd April 2009'Pontefract Castle.'Worried Volunteers fear for the castles future and say the local council need to spend money to protect the castles future.''PICTURES BY MATTHEW PAGE
22nd April 2009'Pontefract Castle.'Worried Volunteers fear for the castles future and say the local council need to spend money to protect the castles future.''PICTURES BY MATTHEW PAGE

A £1.5 million scheme to boost Pontefract’s heritage will be officially launched this weekend.

The Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI) will kick off on Saturday July 9 with celebrations in the market place and at the town’s historic castle from 11am to 3pm.

The initiative will see projects focus on the repair and restoration of historic buildings across the area, funded by a £750,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund which was matched by Wakefield Council.

Coun Denise Jeffery, council deputy leader and cabinet member for regeneration said: “It’s great to see the rich heritage of Pontefract town centre being acknowledged and appreciated.

“With the council working in partnership with the Heritage Lottery Fund team we will be able to restore and secure the future of a number of buildings.

“The launch day will be a great chance for visitors to learn more about the initiative and discover the history roots of the region.”

THI members will be on hand in Market Place to provide more information about the scheme and Pontefract Civic Society is offering a guided tour around the town centre.

Pontefract Castle will see demonstrations of traditional building crafts such as stained glass making, traditional timber working and mud construction.

Visitors to the castle will also be treated to historic re-enactments, stalls and activities hosted by Pontefract Heritage Group.

Fiona Spiers, head of the Heritage Lottery Fund for Yorkshire and the Humber said: “The THI scheme is a great way of using heritage as a springboard for regeneration and investment. We recognise the rich heritage in Pontefract and look forward to the start of these projects.”

Owners of selected buildings will be able to apply for funding to undertake restoration and repair works.

For more information contact council develpoment managers Andrew Woodhead on 01924 304962 or Julian Ellis on 01924 304956.