Trust could run Caldicot Castle

South Wales Argus: Trust could run Caldicot Castle Trust could run Caldicot Castle

A TRUST could be set up to safeguard the future of Caldicot Castle and country park.

A Monmouthshire council spokesman said it would be considered as an option to help the ailing tourist attraction if plans set out in this year’s budget to make it more efficient don’t work. It would not be the first time a trust has been established in Gwent.

Torfaen leisure facilities are run by a not-for-profit trust handed over from Torfaen council in July 2013 to create a more efficient service.

Last year, the council overspent by about £80,000 on the castle budget, but it is expected to be cleared by the end of the 2014-15 financial year.

An organiser who will run an event at the castle and country park this summer says she is keen for the castle to remain in council hands.

Cressida Slater, who is organising the Welsh Perry and Cider Festival at the castle, said she is keen for the festival to remain there. She said the venue was “excellent” but if the council was seeking to make it “more sustainable” and other investors decided to use the castle, dates and use of the castle for the festival might become uncertain.

She said the four-day event is expected to attract up to 4,000 people.

And she said while the majority of visitors are from south east Wales, there is a growing proportion of visitors who are travelling from northern England and from north and west Wales.

But manager of next door’s The Castle Inn, Judy Gribble, said she started working there nine years ago and trade had significantly dropped off from the castle. She said: “It was a big asset for us. We got lots of people walking their dogs around there but I haven’t seen a wedding there for a long time.”

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