Castle to Clock Up New Visitor Record

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Byline: ByREBECCA LEES South Wales Echo

More people are flocking to a city landmark than ever before - and visitor numbers are set to rocket further. The huge scaffolding around Cardiff Castle's clock tower is arousing great interest among locals and holiday makers, drawing them through the gates to see what is going on.

According to the castle's surveyor to the fabric, John Edwards, visitor numbers have increased by seven per cent this year.

He thinks the number will keep rising under the castle's 'access for all' policy at the heart of an pounds 8m conservation programme funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, heritage group Cadw and Cardiff council, which owns the site.

The scheme started three years ago and by the time the work is due to finish in 2008 the castle's Roman fort, Norman keep and Victorian apartments will have been transformed.

'This place is unique but we have not been making enough of it,' said Mr Edwards, who is managing the conservation project.

'Visitor numbers are increasing and in the summer the house is saturated.

'We want more people to come so we have to disperse them around the site. The castle was obviously not designed for all. We are bringing in more disabled access - quite an achievement.'

The project has also attracted interest from the National Trust, whose staff visited to pick up some tips.

As well as major refurbishment work and the construction of a new education centre, the project will see the path along the Victorian battlements reinforced and Lady's Walk - one of the oldest parts of the castle - opened to the public.: What's been done so far? …