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Fit for a king – Mayor of Leicester visits the Great Hall of Leicester Castle

As careful restoration work continues to reveal the captivating history of the Great Hall at Leicester Castle, the city’s Mayor paid a visit to observe the progress which has already been made by De Montfort University Leicester (DMU).

Accompanied by DMU’s Vice Chancellor Professor Dominic Shellard, City Mayor Sir Peter Soulsby enjoyed a tour of the 12th century Grade I listed building, which will become home to DMU’s Leicester Castle Business School (LCBS) in 2017.

Soulsby Castle (2)

“I was delighted to have the opportunity to watch the restoration team at work and to see the care and attention that’s going in to the refurbishment of Leicester Castle,” said City Mayor Peter Soulsby.

“De Montfort University is doing a great job – and members of the public will be able to see the results of the restoration for themselves, and enjoy this remarkable building once again, when it re-opens next spring.”

The tour began to the right of the reception hall, where an archway from the time of Richard III has now been discovered.

Soulsby Castle (3)

The refurbishment will preserve the original features and finds at the heart of the building and its grounds, which include ancient fire pits, buried skeletons and hidden archways.

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Professor Shellard said: “I am delighted to share the progress of our restoration project with Sir Peter Soulsby, and to see the history of this ancient building being so meticulously preserved.

“When the project completes in the spring, Leicester Castle will become not only the home of a world-class business school but also a wonderful and fully restored addition to Leicester’s extraordinary heritage.”

Soulsby Castle (5)

Robert Woodhead, the construction firm behind the project, and Maber, the architects enlisted on the restoration project, are working closely with Leicester Civic Society and Historic England to keep alive the building’s magnificent heritage.

Having played host to bygone royalty, dukes and literary legends, the building, fit for a king, will welcome students and scholars from around the world onto a selection of new undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

The university is investing £4.2 million in the project, and the courses are specifically designed to prepare high-calibre students for the demands of 21st century business.

DMU is working with Leicester City Council to agree details of public access to Leicester Castle once it opens in the spring. The university expects that people will be able to visit regularly at weekends, as well as other occasions.

An app is being developed by DMU for visitors, and there are plans for a launch event and tour for the public, which will mark the opening of Leicester Castle, as well as an annual public event. 

Posted on Tuesday 27th September 2016

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