A MULTI-million-pound project to transform Hartlebury Castle into a visitor attraction is nearing completion - with the re-launch set for May 7.

The revamp has seen key elements of the castle restored and will be opened to the public, as well as interactive galleries where guests can discover stories of the castle’s past residents installed.

Tours of the grand state rooms and, for the first time, walks around the historic parkland and gardens will be available, as well as a new castle café.

The Heritage Lottery Fund awarded £5m to Hartlebury Castle Preservation Trust (HCPT) in 2014 to purchase and redevelop the former Bishop’s residence, as part of a scheme with Museums Worcestershire.

Jacqui Watson, chair of Hartlebury Castle Preservation Trust, said: “We have worked long and hard with our partners on the project to reveal the beauty of Hartlebury Castle and its fascinating stories, we look forward to sharing the much-improved site with the public in May.”

Cllr Lucy Hodgson, Worcestershire County Council cabinet member for communities, said: “The county council together with Museums Worcestershire have supported the project every step of the way and we are delighted to see the project coming to fruition.

“The new redevelopments complement the County Museum perfectly and visitors will enjoy seeing the fabulous museum collections including the much-loved transport and costume displays and the Victorian school room within the wider context of this historic site.”

HCPT is a registered charity and was formed to help preserve the historic castle, which is more than 1,000 years old, and its valuable assets - in particular, the Hurd Library.

Museums Worcestershire is the joint museum service of Worcester City and Worcestershire County Councils.

Visit hartleburycastle.com for more on the castle.

There you will find out more about the project, the history of the site and the opening events.