Lancaster University takes up residence in castle

Lancaster University has signed a two-year lease to operate a new academic space within Lancaster Castle.

The purpose-built suite will include a seminar room with a capacity for around 60 people. It will be used for academic events, teaching and training, offering history and conservation students the chance to learn in a venue at the heart of their academic studies. 

Also featuring a separate kitchen and servery area, the space will hold a small number of public events, as well as staff and business meetings.

The move is part of the latest phase of renovation and conservation undertaken by the castle's owners, the Duchy of Lancaster.

Professor Dame Sue Black, Lancaster University pro-vice-chancellor for engagement, said: “Having a city-centre campus extension in Lancaster’s historic castle allows us to develop a major presence in the vibrant heart of the city with which we at the university have always had such strong connections.

“The new venue also provides the opportunity to foster successful partnerships, with businesses, community organisations and with the City Council. Working together with the Duchy of Lancaster, we are positive that we can both benefit and ensure that heritage is at the heart of the vision for the city.”

The campus extension in Lancaster’s historic castle allows us to develop a major presence in the vibrant heart of the city

Nathan Thompson, chief executive of the Duchy of Lancaster, said: “We are delighted to welcome Lancaster University to the castle. This partnership aligns perfectly with the Duchy’s ambitions for these historic buildings and supports the development of a heritage asset which serves as a cultural hub and centre of learning for the local community as well as for visitors to the city.”

The refurbished castle recently reopened to the public, following extensive restoration and conservation work on the lower courtyards and buildings. As a result of the project, the castle now offers a remodelled piazza, covered cloister walk, gallery space and a new purpose-built visitor café operated by Atkinsons.

The academic facility is due to open in early 2020 and teaching for subjects with a particular relevance to the medieval castle will take place during the current academic year.

  • Photography by Nick Dagger.
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