Auckland Castle Trust

Auckland Castle Trust

Russell Telecom updates historic building


Auckland Castle (also known as Auckland Palace or locally as the Bishop’s Castle or Bishop’s Palace) is a castle in the town of Bishop Auckland in County Durham.

The castle was owned by the diocese for more than 800 years, being established as a hunting lodge for the Prince Bishops of Durham. In mid-2012, the Auckland Castle Trust took ownership of Auckland Castle, with a view to redeveloping it as a major heritage attraction.

When it came to upgrading its telecoms systems, Auckland Castle Trust was delighted to choose Russell Telecom as its preferred supplier.

Russell Telecom has three decade’s experience of meeting the telecommunications needs of numerous UK businesses and organisations.

The company has vast experience of providing complete communications solutions across all industry sectors at truly competitive prices.

“We have been very impressed with Russell Telecom. The solution they installed is perfect for us, and the job was done both very efficiently and very professionally.”
Rebecca Coates, general manager, Auckland Castle Trust.


Prior to installation of the new telecoms solution, Auckland Castle had a phone system that was used by the Bishop of Durham’s administrative team. However, Auckland Castle Trust recently acquired the castle and surrounding land and needed to source its own telephone system.

The Bishop’s staff will remain in the building in one or two rooms while the Trust now has use of the rest of the building. The Trust plans to promote the castle and its numerous attractions to visitors and to provide function suites.

Voicemail and auto-attendant facilities were key requirements for Auckland Castle Trust in a new telephone system.


Russell Telecom carried out a thorough review of the organisationʼs telecommunications system before deciding that the new NEC SL1100 solution would suit its requirements ideally.

Made for up to 70 extensions, the SL1100 makes any team more reachable, more responsive and more productive.

Russell Telecom supplied a NECSL1100 telephone system with four phones and voicemail facilities for members of staff, which would enable them to provide a more efficient and responsive service.

New phone numbers were also set up at the castle, which has helped to direct callers more efficiently to the most appropriate member of staff.


Auckland Castle Trust is very pleased with the new telecoms solution.

Rebecca Coates, general manager of Auckland Castle Trust, commented: “The solution installed by Russell Telecom has been perfect for us. The installation was seamless and straightforward with minimal disruption, which is something we were worried about initially as we are a Grade I listed building.

“Before installation, we had no voicemail, which was a nightmare as calls were clearly going unanswered at times.

“We expected it to be a bit of a challenge fitting a new telecoms solution to a Grade I listed building, however the solution is just perfect.

“The way itʼs been installed also means that it can be re-located easily, which was a key challenge as we are moving further into the castle in the near future.”   In addition, Russell Telecom analysed the organisationʼs telephone usage and costs.

The company has forecast a cost reduction in telephone bills for the castle, after recommending a new call package and discounted line rentals, which was fantastic news for the organisation.

Rebecca Coates added: “We have been very impressed with Russell Telecom. The solution they installed is perfect for us, and the job was done both very efficiently and very professionally.”