HISTORIC Royal Palaces, the charity responsible for the Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, the Banqueting House, Kensington Palace and Kew Palace, is to lead a project which will transform the village of Hillsborough in Co. Down.
The project will include a £60million golf and luxury hotel resort, plans for a £16million visitor centre in the historic village have also been agreed and Hillsborough Forest Park will likewise benefit from the redevelopment.
However, any construction work will require very sensitive handling, as the historic centre of Hillsborough includes significant examples of Georgian architecture.
Historic Royal Palaces, based in London, has been chosen to lead the project because of their proven track record in managing and overseeing ancient buildings and parks.
In Hillsborough, the charity will monitor the refurbishment of Hillsborough Castle’s Walled Garden.
The 5-mile wall encloses Hillsborough Fort, the Park Dam, an artificial lake and the forest surrounding it.
A section of the grounds known as the Lost Garden will also be refurbished, while inside the castle itself the State Rooms will be opened to visitors.
Hillsborough Castle was traditionally the seat of the Governor of Northern Ireland, the job which segued into Northern Secretary.
Work will also be carried out to the castle estate’s upper forecourt and intricate ironwork railings, carriage drive, Prince’s charities buildings, Moss Walk and Yew Tree Walk.
When completed the projects are expected to employ up to 400 people, catering to the enhanced visitor numbers.