Page last updated at 13:40 GMT, Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Lincoln Castle gate closure put back

Lincoln Castle West Gate
The gate was restored to use in the 1980s

Plans to temporarily close one of the gates to Lincoln Castle have been put back following protests from traders.

The county council said the West Gate, was only used by a fraction of visitors and closing it for five years would save tens of thousands of pounds.

But businesses nearby disputed the figures and said the change would starve them of customers.

Now the council has said the gate will be only be closed in 2011 when it would be used as a works entrance.

The gate was sealed for hundreds of years before being restored and reopened in the 1980s.

Skills Centre

The council had insisted the gate was used by only 10% of the castle's 140,000 annual visitors and it would be closed to the public from April.

It added that it would reopen during big events such as the Christmas Market.

Traders responded that they benefited not just from visitors to the castle but also those working at the crown court, which is housed inside.

A spokesman for the council said it would now phase in the gate's closure next year as it was used by contractors working on improvements on the castle.

He added: "The West Gate at Lincoln Castle will remain open until work starts on a Heritage Skills Centre in early 2011. The gate will need to close at that time to ensure safe contractor access.

"We will use the time between now and the gate closure to work with businesses in the area to minimise the impact."

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