Money sought to keep Caldicot Castle running

First published in News

MONEY from outside the public sector is being sought to help fund Caldicot Castle and its country park.

Speaking to a cabinet meeting, Monmouthshire council’s chief regeneration officer, Kellie Beirne, said the council was looking at “radical” ways to fund the castle.

The council has currently overspent by about £80,000 on the castle budget, although this is expected to be wiped out by the end of the 2014-15 financial year.

The authority is spending about £210,000 on the castle and country park every year.

Its café was refurbished for £22,000 and Cadw also gave a grant to help with the refurbishment of its south west tower.

A spokesman said the council had held discussions with potential groups.

It will look to host more private functions, weddings and corporate events at the castle to claw back some of the spending.

A report said staff changes would save £40,000.

Cabinet member for countryside and environment Councillor Giles Howard said: “Caldicot Castle and its country park are an important and much loved heritage and tourism attraction.

“The changes set out in the report are an important step in securing its long term future.”

As part of money-saving measures, accepted by the cabinet, the castle will open to the public between April and September but will be closed on Mondays, except on Bank Holidays.

Leader of the Labour group Councillor Dimitri Batrouni asked officers if the castle could open on Mondays during school summer holidays.

But Matthew Lewis, the council’s countryside officer, said there was insufficient demand.

The castle will hold an exiciting medieval re-enactment in April, and the Fortress Wales event will be held for the third year on May 4 and 5.

A Plantagenets re-enactment will be staged on May 31and June 1.

The Welsh Perry and Cider Festival will be held on May 23 until May 26, and the first Monmouthshire Food Festival will take place at the castle on June 7 and 8.

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