The scheme will restore and conserve the critically at-risk Medieval keep and the mansion; restore and open the ancient gate - the oldest of its kind in the UK; reinstate the vital connection between the Castle and the town; and create a culturally and economically vibrant centre for the arts and training.

A museum-standard gallery will host touring exhibitions from major collections, a platform high in the castle keep will create a memorable visitor experience of this ancient monument, and a characterful learning space will engage young and old. The project will create new jobs and support the regional economy. Hay Castle will be a major heritage destination, with free access for everyone.

The project will require specialist conservation throughout to ensure the long-term survival of the important structures. Large cracks in the archway above the famous gates are widening. The fabric of the buildings has been weakened by exposure, neglect and fires.

Hay Castle Trust has secured a large grant from The Wolfson Foundation which will enable them to create a new sculpture gallery within the Castle Mansion, a Jacobean structure attached to a Norman keep and Victorian outbuildings.

"This project is one of a kind, and we're well on the way to achieving our vision for an outstanding community resource and a national treasure," said Hay Castle Managing Director Nancy Lavin Albert.

Rick Mather Architects has completed plans which will include conservation of the critically at-risk ancient monument and Grade 1 listed buildings.

Plans for the restoration include a viewing platform of innovative design high in the castle keep that will create a 'memorable visitor experience'.