THE trust aiming to restore Hay Castle has secured £4.46 million pounds worth of funding to get the most out of the medieval site.

The regeneration project took a giant step forward thanks to the Heritage Lottery Fund grant to help restore the Grade 1 listed property.

Hay Castle Trust will use the money to save and consolidate the castle ruins, provide access to the keep while also restoring the mansion and reopening the ancient gate. Further plans are in place to create a museum-standard gallery, educational space and café, and to provide space within the Castle for community groups.

Nancy Lavin Albert, managing director of Hay Castle, said: “We are grateful to the Heritage Lottery Fund which does crucial work saving irreplaceable buildings across the UK.

“We are extremely grateful to all our supporters for their generous donations to this ambitious project. The trust’s aspiration is to create an inspiring place for people to enjoy their heritage and the arts, learn new skills and participate in cultural and community events.”

In addition to the award of £4.46million grant, the trust has also raised more than £1million with the help of its supporters.

However, £900,000 still needs to be raised by the end of this year in order for work to begin on the site in 2017.

If this money is found the project should take between 18 and 24 months to complete, providing there is no major archaeological finds which could bring about delays.

Once complete, 12 jobs will be created in a range of roles from catering to office work. There will also be culinary apprenticeship roles created.

Richard Bellamy, the head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Wales, said: “While an incredibly ambitious piece of work, there is so much more to this than simply restoring and preserving a significant piece of Welsh history – it’s also about ensuring Hay Castle continues to be a meaningful place for people today.

“With the support of National Lottery players, there is a great opportunity here to make the castle accessible to all, enabling people to learn about their heritage, while at the same time providing a welcome economic boost with new jobs being created and an improved tourism offer.”

Elizabeth Haycox, chair of the Hay Castle Trust, said they are also aiming to develop a year round programme of activities focusing on literature and Hay’s unique position as a book town.