HAY Castle is on its way to raising £1.2million for its huge restoration project following two significant grants.

The Hay Castle Trust is raising funds for the restoration and regeneration of the 12th century castle in the centre of Hay-on-Wye.

A major grant of £100,000 has been received from the Country Houses Foundation, which is one of largest to be given by the foundation and the first to be awarded to a country house in Wales.

A further £50,000 has been awarded by The Headley Trust, one of the Sainsbury Family Charitable Trusts.

Hay Castle managing director Nancy Lavin Albert said: "The project won a major development grant from Heritage Lottery Fund toward our application of £4.9 million in a highly competitive field.

"The project to restore Hay Castle will result in an amazing community resource and a national treasure.

"However, we must raise an additional £1.2million in funding from other sources, and these generous grants represent a big step toward achieving that goal."

The Country Houses Foundation grant will go towards the restoration of the Castle Manor, a Jacobean structure attached to a Norman keep and Victorian outbuildings.

The Trust will be able to replace the roof of the manor, which is one of the most important elements of the restoration project.

Fires in 1939 and 1977 severely damaged the roof, the eastern half of which was destroyed, leaving the building extremely vulnerable.

Recent historical research undertaken by the trust has revealed details about the manor, including evidence of a much earlier structure, which will aid in designing the new roof.

The site comprises a Scheduled Ancient Monument and Grade 1 listed building.

The trust’s vision is to develop an inspiring centre for arts, culture and education.