WENTWORTH Woodhouse is going national after linking up with one of the country’s biggest heritage groups.
Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust has announced plans to work with the National Trust at the historic Grade I-listed house.
The deal will see the National Trust investing £250,000 a year for three years in efforts to open up the crumbling mansion to visitors and recruit a team of volunteers to help run it.
Hopes are high of building the 18th century mansion’s profile as a major visitor attraction after the two trusts pledged to work closely together to open and manage the house to a large number of visitors.
Guided tours are currently held of the former seat of the Fitzwilliam family but the two trusts hope to open more of the stateley home's 365 rooms and allow visitors to have freer access to the premises.
WWPT bought the house, along with its outstanding collection of classical statues and and the surrounding grounds of 83 acres, for a total of £7 million in March.
The partnership includes financial support over three years and operational support over six years, with the National Trust heavily involved in areas such as presentation, visitor services, opening hours, visitor experience, volunteer management and marketing.
Every year the National Trust, Europe's largest conservation charity, opens over 350 houses, gardens, landscapes and other buildings to the public.
Sarah McLeod, Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust’s chief executive (pictured below), said: "We’re excited to invite the general public into this incredible property to enjoy the many exciting features.
“Support, advice and expertise from the National Trust is invaluable and will ensure we are equipped to make Wentworth Woodhouse a fantastic experience for everyone.”
Harry Bowell, National Trust Director in the North, said: “The Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust have saved an incredibly important house.
“We’re pleased to be able to work in partnership with their team to open the house and grounds to the public so that everyone can enjoy it.”