Central Suffolk and North Ipswich MP, Dr Dan Poulter, visited Framlingham Castle to celebrate a bumper summer season at the popular visitor attraction and learn about plans to increase the number of opening days during the winter months.
The castle, made by famous by Framlingham’s own Ed Sheeran and his “Castle on the Hill” song now draws in over 100,000 visitors per year, all of whom bring money into Framlingham, boosting the local economy.
There are already over 20 volunteers and paid members of staff working at the castle. With an ever increasing number of visitors, Framlingham Castle is set to become a major local employer. Plans are also afoot to open the castle for longer during the winter months, in particular for school visits.
After a slightly worrying start to season due to the Covid-19 pandemic, visitor attractions and hospitality venues across the county have understandably been cautious about the return of visitors in numbers, but Framlingham Castle has enjoyed a good season with a substantial jump in visitor numbers, as well as increased membership subscriptions to English Heritage. More widely, Suffolk has benefitted from a boom in visitors during the Covid pandemic, with many more people choosing to holiday here in the UK, rather than travelling abroad.
Looking ahead to next season, Dr Poulter will be supporting the team at the Castle in their work to build a closer relationship with the town. The big focus now is on working to find more car parking in Framlingham to accommodate the ever increasing number of visitors.
Speaking about the visit, Dr Poulter said “I was delighted to visit Framlingham Castle, and to meet with the staff team and volunteers, and to learn about their successful summer season. Framlingham is such a vibrant market town, with something for everyone, and the Castle is an important part of its attraction.
“Across Suffolk, it has been a strong summer for much of our domestic tourism and hospitality sector. We have a fantastic choice of leading attractions here in Central Suffolk and North Ipswich and I shall, of course, continue to do all that I can to support this vital industry which bring jobs to our area.”