MP wants Wisbech Castle used less for training council staff and more for tourists

MP STEVE Barclay wants the county council to call time on its staff using Wisbech Castle for training sessions and instead open it up to the community and to tourism.

The MP, who chairs a Wisbech working party looking at regeneration, says he has held talks about the castle’s future with council leader Nick Clarke.

“More community use could be made of Wisbech Castle and its wonderful walled garden in the middle of the Georgian Crescent,” said Mr Barclay.

“There is also great tourist potential offered by the vaults underneath.

“Whilst used for a small number of weddings, it is mainly used for county council staff training which could take place elsewhere in Wisbech.”

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In recent years the castle has been used as a location for television and film drama. The BBC’s David Copperfield and Atlantic Films, Dean Spanley both utilised the building and the Crescent for parts of their productions.

The MP believes they could “take more advantage of the creative opportunities offered by the fantastic architecture and unique rural landscape of the Fens.

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“There is no reason why Wisbech cannot become a centre of excellence for art.”

School heads, business leaders, councillors, and church and voluntary sector organisations are working with the MP on the new group.

One idea being considered is for a �60,000 bid for Arts Council funding to set up a community artist in residence scheme.

Father Paul West of St Peter and St Paul’s Church is hosting a number of lunchtime drop in sessions over a bowl of soup and a cup of tea each Monday at St Peter’s lodge for those interested in learning more about the idea.

The drop in sessions will start from Monday October 17.

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