Auckland Academy






 About Auckland Castle Trust:

 The Auckland Castle Trust is transforming Auckland Castle into a heritage, arts and faith destination of international significance, helping to reinvigorate Bishop Auckland and stimulate economic regeneration both in the town and surrounding areas.

In autumn 2016 the charity began a major development project designed to realise this vision, including restoration of the 900 year-old Castle, as well as the creation of a new, 10 gallery Faith Museum, exploring a history of faith in the British Isles from pre-history to the modern day.

There will also be a re-imagined 18th Century Walled Garden, housing a contemporary restaurant within the Castle grounds, as well as a new Welcome Building, Mining Art Gallery and Spanish Gallery and Research Centre in the nearby Market Place.

Inspired by the paintings of Jacob and his twelve sons by Francisco de Zurbarán, which have hung in Auckland Castle for more than 260 years, the new Spanish Gallery will house a permanent collection of key works from the Spanish Golden Age, with a programme of events and exhibitions planned in collaboration with key partners, including the Museo del Prado, Madrid.

This will be complemented by the separate Zurbarán Centre for Spanish and Latin American Art and Culture, run by Durham University, with a donation from Santander, which will link new academic research with the gallery’s curatorial programme.

The Mining Art Gallery will be the first element to be completed and is expected to open its doors in 2017.  This will be followed by the Welcome Building, Walled Garden and restored Castle in 2018 and the Faith Museum and Spanish Art Gallery in 2019.

Combined, this project represents an investment of around £70m overall, including £11.4m from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and will create a number of opportunities for skills development and employment.

Auckland Castle Trust, which launched in 2012, is also continuing to work closely with other charitable organisations, community groups and schools across the North East, offering exciting ways to engage with heritage and art and to develop new skills and interests.

The Trust is proud to be supported by a wide range of charities, businesses and individuals, including the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).  A full list of existing donors and project partners is available at

About the Heritage Lottery Fund

Thanks to National Lottery players, we invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about - from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife.  Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and use #NationalLottery and #HLFsupported.



Auckland Castle and Bishop Auckland College have joined forces to create the Auckland Academy, a partnership which offers a range of high quality apprenticeship opportunities for the local community. This is the first time an independently-run heritage attraction and further education college have joined forces in this way. The Castle will seek to fill over 100 new full and part-time posts when it re-opens to the public in 2018, and to achieve this, we need to start training this workforce now. Through this new initiative, we will nurture and train young people who are interested in being part of this unique tourist destination.

The Heritage Lottery Fund are supporting 34 of the apprentices based at the Castle over three years, these young people will gain experience in many areas of the business including catering, horticulture, business, tourism and customer service.


Auckland Academy Scholarship is about offering a once in a lifetime opportunity to the most passionate food and cooking enthusiasts.

The 2016 Auckland Academy scholarship winners, will be awarded on the coveted 'Trainee Chef Diploma’ followed by an internship at Auckland Castle.  While undertaking the 12 month study at Bishop Auckland College, winners will complete their Chef Diploma qualification and work under the guidance of esteemed Head Chef at Auckland Castle.

Entry requirements:

4 GCSEs grade C or above including English and Maths.  Passion, motivation and enthusiasm.


Interviews are taking place throughout the summer. Contact the College for further details.

Successful applicants will receive:

  1. Set of Chef Auckland Academy Chef uniform
  2. Starter knives set
  3. Internship at Auckland Academy
  4. Opportunity to progress to a trainee chef apprenticeship

Auckland Academy is a unique and exciting partnership between Auckland Castle and Bishop Auckland College.

This unique experience is available only to sixteen people aged between 16 and 18.  To apply contact Camilla Race 01388 825824 or Kevin Burns 07889 726636.

Internship location

Auckland Castle is one of the UK’s most important historical buildings. Since the days of the Norman Conquest in the 11th Century, Auckland Castle has been a seat of power. For almost 900 years, it has been the palace of the Prince Bishops of Durham and although the site where Auckland Castle now stands has seen numerous changes, few will have been as far reaching and visionary as those which are set to take place in the 21st Century. Auckland Castle are investing in new developments which will include a new conservatory restaurant and other eatery/culinary locations in Bishop Auckland.

Training location

Bishop Auckland College has been training chefs for over 15 years.  Alumni and former high flying students include:  Adam Anderson Head Chef The Brierley Acklam Hall and Lewis Thompson former Raby Hunt ‘Michelin Star’ restaurant Summerhouses, Darlington.

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