Auckland Castle was the medieval palace of the Prince Bishops of Durham, and their country residence from 1183. Until relatively recently its vast and beautiful buildings – and the artistic treasures within – were visited by just a handful of people every year. Bishop Auckland, the town around the castle, was looking forlorn.

In 2012 the Auckland Castle Trust was established to restore and reopen the castle, and drive economic regeneration in the area. The town is now a hub of activity, with the castle open once more after an immense restoration, new galleries showing treasures from El Prado and mining art from the region, and ‘Kynren’ performed nightly in the summer, a historical extravaganza starring local volunteers, flaming trees, horses, a magically-appearing longboat, sheep and geese.

Tarnside worked closely with The Auckland Project (then the Auckland Castle Trust) as it developed from a single act of philanthropy into a fundraising operation in its own right, with clear goals and a full team. Tarnside helped set strategy, worked with the team on successful £1m+ approaches to the UK’s leading grantgivers.

A Case Study on how this project secured a series of £1m+ major gifts from beyond the region can be found here.

Tarnside Input

Feasibility Review
Revenue Fundraising Strategy
Trust Fundraising

Download Case Study

"At its heart is the principle that what people think is the determinant of their welfare, not primarily what they do. The enemy of transforming thought is the monochrome quality of lives lived in adversity, and the key is to find a circuit-breaker which can lift a community out of self-doubt. In Auckland Castle, there is an extraordinary confluence of forces for good, which can be harnessed; this project will take these qualities, and give them practical purpose for the benefit of the community."

Jonathan RufferChairman of Trustees