cliffe castle museum 1

A major milestone in the £4.5 million restoration of the park at Cliffe Castle Museum will be reached next week.

The park’s new dome, cupola and steel work weighing 9.5 tonnes will be lifted into place at 11 am on Thursday, 9 February.

The project, supported thanks to National Lottery players, will see the grounds restored to their Victorian splendour, with features including a new palm house, cafe terrace and refurbished pathways and planting.

Bradford Council successfully bid for £3.5 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund’s “Parks for People” programme started back in June 2016 and which is due to be completed by Summer this year.

Victorian features, that have long since been neglected, such as a fountain and decorative streetlights, will be restored to working condition.

The project had been designed with support from the Cliffe Castle Park Conservation Group and Bradford museums.

The Dome House will later be home to a newly planted Norfolk Island Pine (Araucaria Excelsa) and will form part of the glasshouse range which will include new café and toilets for visitors to the park and museum.

At a separate event in June local schoolchildren have been invited to bury a time capsule underneath the pine before it is planted.

The construction work is expected to be complete and open to public in July this year.

Coun Sarah Ferriby, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Environment, Sport and Culture, said: “This is a really exciting stage in the redevelopment of the park and it will be great to see the building take shape.

“The Cliffe Castle park project will complement the recent restoration of the museum and will create a terrific asset for Keighley and the rest of the Bradford District which will delight visitors for many years to come.”

Philip Rusworth, of the Cliff Castle Park Conservation Group, said: “Our members are delighted to witness the new dome being placed into the site of the original palm house.

“We have spent a lot of time studying archive photographs of the original glass houses. We are convinced that the new dome house will become recognized as a Keighley landmark."

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