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Beyond the Castle - Share your stories and explore the space

John Freeman

People are again being asked to share stories about a historic part of Lancaster to help shape plans for a new public space.

The second series of events has been announced for Beyond the Castle - a project that will involve local people in shaping the future of the site on Lancaster's Castle Hill. Everyone is invited to imagine and design new possibilities.

The event on Saturday 8th September will involve people sharing stories about the site, while the second event on Saturday 22nd September will look at the accessibility, ecology and history of the site.

The Beyond the Castle area includes Castle Park, Vicarage Fields and Quayside Meadows. The project wants to make a high-quality public space from the area around the city's historic castle and priory.

County Councillor Michael Green, cabinet member for economic development, environment and planning, said: "This project isn't a consultation - it's co-design. We want to listen to people's ideas so that we can design Beyond the Castle together.

"We've already had some really fun ideas from local people - including a wildflower meadow, a treehouse and a castle built entirely of plastic bricks! And we still want people to give their ideas.

"There's a lot of potential for the castle itself and we want to support this by creating an interesting space in the area around it, that reflects the traditions, history and future of this exciting site."

If you have a story to share, you can come along to a special 'drop-in' event on Saturday 8 September from 12 noon to 3.30pm. Meet outside Lancaster Priory, where volunteers and designers will help record stories - old and new - about the area, its history and its future. People can walk around the space, and have their ideas recorded in drawings, stories or recordings.

For the second event, people are invited to look at the ecology, history and accessibility of the park. The session will look at how the space can fit the needs of local people and those who visit it. Meet outside Lancaster Priory on Saturday 22 September from 2pm to 4.30pm, or 6pm to 8pm.

Everyone is invited to come along to these drop-in sessions, which can last for as little as 15 minutes. Both sessions will build on ideas gathered in August from shoppers in Market Street, when project members spoke to hundreds of local people about the project.

The Beyond the Castle project was initiated by Lancaster City Council and Lancashire County Council, and is supported by a co-design challenge led by Lancaster University through PROUD, an EU INTERREG project.

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