Heritage experts Malcolm Reading Consultants have completed a six-month study for the Duchy of Lancaster Council to prepare plans for development of Lancaster Castle into a new tourist attraction.
Ideas and concepts for the historic landmark have been considered by the Duchy of Lancaster Council and will be presented to the public at an exhibition scheduled for the end of October 2012.
The proposals include a mixed-used urban quarter, which could include a potential visitor attraction, boutique hotel, plus arts and performance space.
A spokesman for the Duchy said: "The concept for the visitor attraction is a museum highlighting judicial and penal history in Britain throughout the last 1,000 years. A number of the existing prison buildings would be sympathetically converted and historic structures such as Adrian's Tower, the Keep and the Witches Dungeon used to illustrate the castle as a place of incarceration."
In addition to the hotel and visitor attraction, there is potential for artists' studios, outdoors performances and festivals. The Duchy has also had initial discussions with Lancaster University regarding using part of the space for some of its departments or conferences.
Further information on the plans will be displayed at a public exhibition from Monday 29 October to Friday 2 November 2012 in the visitors centre in the castle. Members of the public will be able to provide their feedback on the initial proposals and speak to representatives from the Duchy of Lancaster and MRC.
In addition to the public consultation, the Duchy will undertake detailed financial modelling and viability studies to help finalise its initial plans by the end of this year. If viable, it is hoped that planning permission would be achieved by early 2014 and that work would start by the end of the same year with the new development open by spring 2017.