The Auckland Castle Trust (ACT) aspires to stimulate social and economic regeneration within the town of Bishop Auckland and beyond through heritage-led regeneration. The £17 million restoration and development of Auckland Castle is the centrepiece in a suite of projects planned by ACT and catalyst for this regeneration.The Auckland Castle Redevelopment will transform this internationally significant 800-year old Bishop’s Palace from an unknown private dwelling into a thriving major heritage attraction supported by an extensive activity programme. The ambitious restoration, re-interpretation and development of the Castle and Chapel will explore the story of the Prince Bishops (with the Trust’s collection of Zurbaran paintings as the focal point) and will explore the history of faith and religion in Britain across 11 new galleries.
Jura Consultants assisted ACT develop its Business Plan and Activity Plan in support of its Round 2 Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) application. Working in collaboration with Yellow Book Ltd, we also completed an Evaluation Framework providing ACT with a mechanism to monitor the nature and extent of socio-economic impact delivered by the project. This included completing a baseline analysis informed by qualitative and quantitative research methods comprising statistical analysis, audience consultation and economic impact assessment. This evidence in turn influenced the development of the Round 2 submission, the Activity Plan in particular. ACT secured a grant of £9 million from HLF in May 2015 – one of the largest grants ever awarded to the region.