The news of The Prince of Wales’s patronage comes as Campaign Canute has raised over £1 million, over two thirds of the way towards the £1.5 million target to help re-imagine the attraction for its public re-opening on 8 April 2017.
“The Prince of Wales has been a long-term supporter of the JORVIK Viking Centre, ever since he first climbed into the archaeological dig that took place in Coppergate between 1976 and 1981, and we welcomed him back to officially open the first incarnation of JORVIK Viking Centre in 1984. It is wonderful to have His Royal Highness on board as we continue our fundraising, and we look forward to showing him the results of the hard work so far once we re-open in April,” comments Terry Suthers, Chair of York Archaeological Trust which owns and operates JORVIK Viking Centre.
The Prince of Wales is the Patron of Campaign Canute, with other leading names acting as Ambassadors for the initiative including Brian Blessed, Dan Snow and Horrible Histories author, Terry Deary.
Campaign Canute was launched in the immediate aftermath of the flooding of JORVIK Viking Centre, whose plans to highlight the 1000th anniversary of King Canute’s taking of the English throne were foiled by unstoppable water. The fundraising initiative aimed to bridge the gap between the costs of restoring JORVIK to its pre-flood condition – the insurance settlement covered £2.83 million – and the anticipated cost of updating and re-imaging JORVIK with the latest research findings and technology.
“Donations have varied from major gifts from the Garfield Weston Foundation, Wolfson Foundationand Arts Council England, to a little girl sending in her pocket money. Local charitable trusts and organisations have also been hugely supportive, and we’re grateful to them all, including York Civic Trust, Yorventure, the Sheldon Memorial Trust, the Holbeck Charitable Trust, and many more” adds Director of Attractions, Sarah Maltby.
The funds raised to date will cover the costs to re-open JORVIK with new animatronic models, new sound system and completely redesigned artefact galleries, with any further funds raised going towards integrating educational and outreach projects to further spread knowledge and understanding of Viking heritage – a crucial part of York Archaeological Trust’s mission.
Whilst work continues to complete JORVIK Viking Centre ahead of its 8 April opening date, advanced plans have been revealed to make this year’s JORVIK Viking Festival a ‘prequel’ experience. The Festival, which runs from 20 – 26 February, will tell the story of Viking-age York leading up to AD 960, which is the date for the recreation of Viking-age Coppergate that sits at the heart of the new attraction. In particular, Festival events explore the last days of Jorvik’s final Viking king – Eric Bloodaxe.
For more details on Campaign Canute, please visit www.jorvik-viking-centre.co.uk or follow #CampaignCanute on social media.