Beacon of light at historic North Yorkshire building

The keep of Knaresborough Castle could soon be draped in light for a new project
The keep of Knaresborough Castle could soon be draped in light for a new project
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One of Yorkshire’s most iconic landmarks could soon be transformed into a beacon of light to help bolster the number of visitors to Knaresborough.

Knaresborough Town Council’s Castle Working Group is aiming to first see the keep of the Knaresborough Castle draped in LED floodlight this year as part of a permanent installation.

Chair of the group, Coun Christine Willoughby, says that the illumination project could support the town’s evening economy, as well as raising the profile of the castle with the spectacular display.

She said: “Years ago there were a couple of floodlights at the castle but for various reasons they were taken away and we always felt that we could use them to raise the profile of the castle.

“We thought since you can see the castle when you are coming to Knaresborough from the A59, if you had something like the flood lights it would be a beacon for the town."

She added: “We really want to see this here in 2018 and before the end of September. We are aware that because of technical issues there might be a delay, but we are hopeful.

“We want this to help regenerate the town, getting people to enjoy what we have on offer during the evening in Knaresborough.”

Last years Festival of Entertainment and Visual Arts (FEVA) saw the castle illuminated for the first time in 50 years. Not only did it draw additional visitors but it is also believed to have had a positive impact on anti-social behaviour, an issue previously flagged at the castle grounds.

Coun Willoughby said: “We had a try last year with Feva, it looked absolutely stunning and did really well by drawing people to the castle. With that we knew that it could work and the plan is to do a permanent installation."

Currently the project is still being developed but the group are liasing with a professional lighting expert , and Harrogate Borough Council has agreed to help with funding the project.

Coun Willougby said: “I can say that the costs behind this would be significant, but HBC has agreed to match fund, and we also have a number of people who have expressed in the project.”

Although planned for use in the evening it was made clear that the group would be open to talks with nearby residents for how this is carried out.

Coun Willoughby said: “The lights would be LEDs and and could be controlled with a phone wirelessly. We plan to have the castle lit in the hours of darkness, but obviously if neighbours are disturbed we could arrange something and we would be flexible.”