Castle prepares for phase two

Alnwick project looks set to get cash boost from Brussels

Alnwick Castle Gardens is preparing for phase two of its £42 million development after the European Union Development Fund suggested it would fund the Duchess of Northumberland’s project. Alnwick PR director James McDonald said: “We got indications last week that funding for the gardens looks to be OK. “Because we are a regeneration project, the EU has indicated it is likely that funding should follow next year,” he added. Phase two, involving three of the garden’s projected seven gardens, will cost £14 million. Half will come from EU and government regional development funding. More than half of that £7 million portion will come from the EU. Work is due to start next year (HW, 14 August). McDonald added: “We’ve got to raise funds from the private sector as well. We’re still fundraising for phase two, but we’re quite confident it will all come through.” UK suppliers may be able to tender to stock the three new gardens. British garden planner Caroline Holmes is designing the planting of the poison garden, William Pye is sculpting the water features of the serpent garden and Adrian Fisher is designing the labyrinth. Alnwick head gardener Chris Gough said that if he had any say, he would recommend that British nurseries be invited to tender for the second phase within the next three months. Gough and his team are currently planting 70,000 bulbs from Manchester-based bulb grower and supplier Peter Nyssen. Alnwick used plants from Dutch growers, including Van den Berk, for its original planting out (HW, 23 January).

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