One of the region’s most iconic tourism destinations has secured £1.2 million of government funding for a major enhancement project.

Lindisfarne Castle, cared for by conservation charity the National Trust, is deteriorating due to its exposure to salt, wind and sea. The funding secured will enable the Trust to conserve the Castle for future generations, which is a major boost for tourism in Northumberland.

Simon Lee, general manager for the National Trust on the Northumberland Coast said:

“The National Trust is delighted to secure funding towards the future of Lindisfarne Castle. Northumberland welcomes nearly 9 million visitors each year, who contribute over £700 million to the local economy, so this investment in one of the region’s most iconic attractions is greatly welcomed.

“The Castle suffers because of its exposed coastal location. This project to enhance the Castle will ensure the long term stability and future of this iconic landmark that is loved by so many people. The funding is great news for Northumberland, for tourism, for heritage and for Holy Island and we are grateful of the support offered.”

Lindisfarne Castle is a hugely popular tourist destination, with nearly 100,000 visitors each year. Built in around 1550, with a defensive purpose and later transformed into a holiday home by architect Edwin Lutyens, Lindisfarne Castle is Grade 1 listed. The exposed location of the Castle on the beautiful Northumberland coastline puts the fabric of the building under constant pressure from the elements. As a result the building suffers from penetrating damp which in some areas puts the Castles contents at risk. There are also many leaking historic windows.

Visitor numbers have increased to the Castle in recent years and historic brick floors are damaged as a result. A solution is needed which will preserve these floors in light of current and future increases in visitors.

The Castle is currently heated with unsightly and inefficient night storage heaters. Conservation works would also provide a significant opportunity to improve not only the aesthetics of the Castle, but importantly its energy efficiency as well.

Simon continued:

“The castle requires significant investment of £1.2million to improve the building fabric and make it weatherproof and energy efficient. We hope this will prepare us for the future, encouraging more visitors to this beautiful part of the country.”

Work will begin this summer to trial conservation techniques for the Castle conservation, with a view to project work beginning in 2017.