County council in bid for £5m of European funds for Lincoln Castle revamp project
Economic leaders plan to bid for cash to help county businesses benefit from a major transformation at Lincoln Castle.
Lincolnshire County Council will seek £5 million of European funds as part of the £22 million Lincoln Castle Revealed project.
And the bid is likely to include a slice of cash which will be used to advise businesses on how they can make the most of the project. The castle redevelopment could see tourism to the city increase by 55 per cent. Plans are being put together for a series of celebratory events in 2015 to mark its completion.
Justin Brown, head of enterprises for economy and culture at the county council, said: "Event planning for our opening year is critical and we are looking to have a series of celebratory events at the castle and at other venues, so Lincolnshire will be the place to be in 2015.
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"It is important that local businesses understand what is likely to happen and how they can link into the promotion and opportunities that the project will open up.''
The Echo revealed in March last year how the scheme will see the creation of a purpose-built Magna Carta centre and free entry to the castle grounds.
The county council says businesses could boom once again as the city heads into a "critical" 2015.
Martin Hill, leader of the county council, said: "The project will make Lincoln Castle one of the country's top historic attractions, attracting thousands more visitors.
"It's estimated this could bring up to a 55 per cent increase in the overall value of tourism in Lincoln. That translates to a £68 million boost for the local economy and around 1,100 new jobs. ''
Pat O'Connor, chairman of the economic scrutiny committee at the county council, said: "I think this is an excellent initiative to promote tourism not only to the castle but to the whole of Lincolnshire.''
Mark Hollingworth, chairman of Bailgate Guild and director of Flowers by Suzanne, said: "This will give the Bailgate area, the city and even the county a much bigger profile.''