Plans to turn former prison Lancaster Castle into tourist area

Lancaster Castle
Image caption The castle would become a lively 'urban quarter' under the proposals

Plans are to be unveiled to turn former prison Lancaster Castle into a tourist attraction with a hotel, arts and performance areas.

The proposals, which will go on display at the Grade I-listed castle from 30 October, aim to turn it into the city's 'urban quarter' to boost the economy.

Owners hope to make sure the castle makes enough money to cover its upkeep and preservation.

If the plans are approved the site would be expected to open in 2017.

The Lancashire witch trials were held at the castle 400 years ago and it closed as a prison in March 2011.

The Duchy of Lancaster took over the building from the Ministry of Justice in January and has since opened part of the building to the public.

Paul Clarke, CEO and Clerk of the Duchy Council, said: "One of our main aims is for the castle to be integrated into the life of the city and enable more people to use and enjoy it.

"The Duchy has to ensure the castle has a sustainable future and we will balance preservation of the building with activities which encourage its wider use."

Public consultation events take place at the castle on 30 October from 10:00 to 17:00 GMT; 31 October from 10:00 to 19:00; 1 November from 10:00 to 19:00 and 2 November from 10:00 to 17:00.

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