Residents are being called upon to back plans to drape one of the town's most precious landmarks in light and help bolster the draw of Knaresborough's evening economy.
A project to illuminate the keep of Knaresborough Castle at night with LED floodlights, an attempt to draw more visitors to the historic landmark, is set to be submitted to Harrogate Borough Council planners this week.
So far the plans, developed by the Castle Working Group of Knaresborough Town Council and HBC, have had a £20,000 grant from the District Improvement Fund from the district council put behind it. This sum is to be matched through local fund-raising.
Coun Christine Willoughby (Lib Dem, Knaresborough Eastfield) is Chair of the working group and says she hopes residents will rally behind the plans and help hit this target, with organisers aiming to see the lights in place for events marking the centenary of the First World War.
Coun Willoughby said: "We are looking to get this in place at the castle for the armistice, and it would be really great if Knaresborough can get behind this project and help draw as much attention to this stunning attraction at night as it gets during the daytime.
"We know how much residents love the castle and hopefully with their help these plans can be put in place, encouraging people to also enjoy the town at night too - whether that is going out for a meal or enjoying those views from the castle of the town in the evening.
She added: "I am hoping that this will be something that the people of Knaresborough will be really supportive of and help raise the profile of the castle in people's conciseness, seeing it in more use and getting more footfall."
Funds have already started to flow towards the project, with the town council announcing last week that the Mayor of Knaresborough, Coun Phil Ireland, received a donation of £2,000 from a local company.
A temporary version of the lighting scheme was put in place during the summer of 2017. The permanent installation would see it draped in a variety of colours, some specially selected to mark events such as Feva and the anniversary of the First World War. Footage from a drone, supplied by Redkite Dynamics, showcased the display of gold and red light online last year.
The low energy lights are to provide 'a sympathetic lighting scheme' for the castle, and the plans have been put together with the help of specialist lighting consultant, Brian Robinson.
Coun Willoughby, said “We will be submitting our planning application to HBC in the next few days. We have been working closely with colleagues from Harrogate Borough Council and our own lighting consultant, Brian Robinson, to address various technical issues with the application which are now resolved. We are now in a position to start fundraising towards the scheme.”
The castle is managed by Harrogate Borough Council and leased through the Duchy of Lancaster. Historic England are to be approached for a scheduled monument consent as part of the plan.
To donate towards the project you can contact Knaresborough Town Council by emailing Clerk@knaresboroughtowncouncil.gov.uk, or donations payable to Knaresborough Town Council can be sent to Knaresborough House, High Street, HG5 0HW.