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Published December 5th 2020
Anglo Saxon exhibition nearing completion after grant
A medieval castle in Staffordshire is preparing to re-open better than ever in the New Year following a welcome cash injection due to the coronavirus pandemic. Exciting plans are being developed for Tamworth Castle which will enable the historic venue to come back stronger next year despite the ongoing impact of Covid-19. Tamworth Castle is currently unable to reopen to the public after Staffordshire was placed in a Tier 3 zone, which replaced the national lockdown on December 2. But a cash injection from the Government's Culture Recovery Fund will enable the castle to modernise the way services are provided to the community, visitors and schools. The £250,000 grant will be used to create a new augmented reality trail, develop an online educational programme and start the process of digitalising the entire castle collection so it too can be made available online.
Tamworth Castle was due to close at the end of December for its usual winter shutdown, but the elongated closure means longer preparation for the launch of its new Battle and Tribute exhibition next year. The £768,000 Anglo-Saxon gallery on the top floor of the castle is nearing completion. It will include the creation of a mead hall, an immersive combat film experience and a unique touch-table strategy game. The exhibition will bring the area's rich Anglo-Saxon history to life, including the role of famous warrior queen, Aethelflaed, and will also feature even more pieces of the gold Staffordshire Hoard. Battle and Tribute was backed by a grant of £499,900 from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, with the remainder of the cost from Tamworth Borough Council, the Ready to Borrow Scheme supported by Arts Council England and Friends of Tamworth Castle.
Castle putting finishing touches to Anglo Saxon gallery
Councillor Jeremy Oates, Tamworth Borough Council's Cabinet member for Heritage and Growth, said: "Like all cultural institutions across the country, Tamworth Castle has suffered at the hands of the coronavirus pandemic and not being able to open due to the ongoing local restrictions is the latest blow. However, we will use this time to get stuck into some really exciting projects that will help the castle to continue to meet the expectations of modern audiences and protect this jewel in the town's crown long into the future. This will include new digital services and a greatly enhanced visitor experience thanks to the new gallery and the augmented reality trail. Staying closed for the next few months gives the staff chance to carry out some essential repairs and maintenance, as well as furthering these new projects and working with contractors to finalise the Battle and Tribute gallery."