By the start of the new millennium, Hay Castle was very much under threat. The castle and manor were in desperate need of conservation to prevent further deterioration. The Norman keep was unstable and unsafe for entry. The famed archway was impassable. The east wing of the Jacobean manor remained roofless and derelict, and its decorated stone walls were collapsing.
King Richard put the property up for sale in 2011 and the charity Hay Castle Trust was formed in order to keep Hay Castle as a public building for the people of Hay and visitors to enjoy. The project then began to raise the funds required to make the building safe and useable and in 2016 Hay Castle Trust were delighted to receive a National Lottery Heritage Fund grant, which alongside match funding raised by the team would allow the building work to take place. Once all of the surveys, reports and planning permission were in place and the architects, MICA had completed the designs, the building work could begin. In July 2018 builders John Weavers started what turned out to be a four year construction period, with Covid causing unexpected delays.
Hay Castle finally opened to the public on May 26th 2022 on the first day of the annual Hay Festival. With a new staff team in place and Shakespeare's Globe performing Julius Caesar on the lawns we had a busy first two weeks. A few months in we are so pleased that the building and lawns are being used and enjoyed by locals and visitors every day of the week.