Heritage Midlands & East Anglia

Lincoln Castle invests in old skills

Lincoln Castle Heritage Skills Centre- Lincolnshire

Lincolnshire County Council is investing £2.1 million in a Heritage Skills Centre, which will provide training in old fashioned trades.

The new-build, single storey building is part of Lincoln Castle Revealed, a project which aims to improve various parts of the castle complex.

This phase of Lincoln Castle Revealed began in October 2011 and was completed in September 2012. The main contractor on the project was Robert Woodhead Ltd and the architect was Arrol & Snell Limited.

Daniel King, Quantity Surveyor with Robert Woodhead Ltd, said:

“I think this is the first new building in the castle walls for over 100 years. It’s going to be used to train people in old heritage skills such as stone masonry and stained glass”

Within the building there is an entrance, reception area and male and female changing rooms. Towards the rear of the Heritage Skills Centre there are two workshops; the building will mainly house workshop and storage space.

The building is around 430 square metres, with a glulam timber frame and hemcrete panels for the external walls. The centre also has a green roof system and oak windows and doors.

The site was previously a car park which has been relocated, and care is being taken to blend the centre into the existing area through landscaping.

Daniel said:

“The work has progressed well but has gone slightly over programme as there have been a few extra things we’ve had to do. Hopefully this is going to be an award winner for us. It’s quite a prestigious project and one we are pleased to have worked on.”

“It’s a place where the local youngsters can continue to learn these special crafts, obviously with the cathedral being next door as well, there are quite a few historic buildings in Lincoln so hopefully they can continue the maintenance of them.

“It’s a nice project for us to do, in a separate contract we’re also working on the repair of the south curtain wall, the first phase of the Castle’s wall repair programme. Overall, the whole Lincoln Castle Revealed project is a huge investment, with £22 million being spent in total. It’s all going to be revamped- the skills centre is the first part to be completed and work is underway on the walls which are planned for completion by the end of 2014.”

As the home of Magna Carta, Lincoln Castle Revealed involves plans to build a new vault to showcase it, along with the Charter of the Forest. There will also be a cinema space and the castle walls will be repaired with a complete wall walk circuit created for the first time, which will have disabled access.

Within the complex are two prison buildings, which will be refurbished with the previously-closed Victorian male prison being opened to the public for the first time in many years.

This will be complemented by a new cafe, shop, toilets and education space, whilst disabled access will be improved across the site.

Access into the grounds through the East and West Gates will also become free during daylight hours.

It is hoped that the entire Lincoln Castle Revealed project will be completed by the end of 2014, ahead of Magna Carta’s 800th anniversary in 2015.

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