A MAJOR cash injection is set to launch the multimillion-pound transformation of one of Sunderland’s oldest and most significant buildings.
Sunderland City Council’s cabinet yesterday approved allocating the £276,000 design costs for the redevelopment of the Grade I-listed Hylton Castle and its chapel.
The cash, from the council and the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), will see a design team appointed.
Interviews for a project manager will take place later this month.
It is hoped this initial stage of the redevelopment will lead to the creation of a community-based heritage facility, offering education and social function facilities and promoting the site as a major attraction.
The design team will begin development work in accordance with HLF rules, leading the way to an application for a further stage two grant of £2,919,400.
The budget for the project as a whole has been set at £3,859,205.
The ultimate aim is to restore the castle to its former glory so it can host a programme of educational and volunteering activities.
Keith Younghusband, of the Friends of Hylton Castle group, said: “It’s a step towards getting the stage two funding. We’ve had good support from the council.
“Without their support, it would be difficult.”
Built in the 1390s and 1400s by Sir William Hylton, Hylton Castle is a gatehouse-style fortified manor house with St Catherine’s Chapel forming part of the listed ancient monument.