Multi-million restoration of Sunderland castle enters final phase

The final phase of work at Hylton Castle is taking place.
The final phase of work at Hylton Castle is taking place.

A £4.5million project to restore Hylton Castle and add a new cafe and community spaces has entered its final phase - and is on track to be complete in spring 2019.

Structural conservation work on the interior and exterior of the 14th century building is almost complete.

From left, Andrew Cobbold from Buro 4, Sunderland City Council leader Coun Graeme Miller, project architect David Brown and Sunderland Council chief executive Patrick Melia.

From left, Andrew Cobbold from Buro 4, Sunderland City Council leader Coun Graeme Miller, project architect David Brown and Sunderland Council chief executive Patrick Melia.

New floors, roof and staircase are in place and new windows are being installed to protect the interior while the final work will take place over the winter.

The £4.5m partnership project between Sunderland City Council and Castle in the Community, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund and English Heritage, will restore the castle and its grounds - bringing it back into the heart of community life.

Main contractors, William Birch & Sons, completed interior stone cleaning work and repairs ahead of the installation of three new floors housing a café, lift, learning and community spaces, toilets and a rooftop viewing platform.

The work has preserved the historic masonry, spiral stairs, alcoves, turrets and ornamental stonework.

Sunderland City Council Portfolio Holder for Communities and Culture, Coun John Kelly said: “The completion of the new roof and installation of the windows mark a keynote in the history of Hylton Castle, and marks a lifetime achievement for all those local volunteers and groups involved in returning this much loved local landmark to the centre of community life.”

Chairman of Castle in the Community and Hylton Castle Trust member, Susan Ord, added: “The future of the Hylton Castle will continue to be led by local people and members of the Hylton Castle Trust. The castle has always been at the centre of community life, and once open will provide many more opportunities for training, work experience and volunteering.”