Saturday, 25 June 2011

News - Castle campaigners awarded grant for amphitheatre work (Rotherham)

Campaigners who successfully fought for the restoration of a landmark building have been given a second grant which will pay for the overhaul of an exterior courtyard.

The Friends of Boston Castle faced several obstacles in their bid to have the former hunting lodge refurbished for community use, including uncertainty over promised council funding.

Council bosses said the plan for the building, in Rotherham’s Boston Park, overlooking the Don Valley, would have to be re-examined in the face of spending cuts.

But eventually agreement was reached over a scaled-back version of the original vision, and the Heritage Lottery Fund agreed to provide more than £500,000 towards the £1.2m project.

Waste firm Biffa has now come forward with the second cash sum of £50,000 through its Biffaward scheme, which the Friends will use to transform the courtyard into an amphitheatre.

Janet Worrall, secretary of the Friends of Boston Castle and Park, said the group “was thrilled” with the Biffaward grant.

She added: “It will provide unique opportunities at the historic site – allowing a wide range of uses for the courtyard area.

“We are now looking forward to the work finally starting and in preparation we are currently recruiting volunteers to act as tour guides when Boston Castle opens to the general public next year.”

Work on the vandalised castle’s refurbishment, which will see its 18th century battlements and windows repaired, is due to start later in the summer.

Anyone interested in tour guide training should contact Mrs Worrall on 01709 361861.


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