THE future of Wentworth Woodhouse has been secured thanks to a £7 million takeover by its preservation trust.
A £3.5 million grant from the National Heritage Memorial Fund has provided Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust with the final piece of the financial jigsaw it needed to buy the 18th century home.
The trust has now bought the house, its outstanding collection of classical statuary and the surrounding grounds of 83 acres, for a total of £7 million.
It now hopes to welcome visitors to the home, transform the stables into offices, and restore its gardens with the help of volunteers.
WWPT chairman Julie Kenny said: “This is the culmination of five years’ very hard work and has been made possible by the support of many different charities, government bodies and individuals, including the Chancellor.
“It is great news for the people of Rotherham and for everyone who cares about historic buildings.”
Ms Kenny thanked previous owners the Newbold family and all those who have helped make the purchase happen.
She added: “All these contributors share our determination to give Wentworth Woodhouse a secure future so it can play a part in the economic and cultural regeneration of Rotherham and the wider South Yorkshire region.
“We would like to send our appreciation to John Healey MP, who helped open doors for discussions with Ministers and civil servants. We also appreciate the important cross party support from John Healey and Robert Jenrick MP who helped us put the trust’s case personally to the Chancellor.
“Above all, we are grateful to the Chancellor who shares our enthusiasm for the house and who announced a special allocation of £7.6 million for repairs in his Autumn Statement in 2016. This will enable work to start this year.”
Heritage Minister Tracey Crouch said: “The UK’s heritage is world renowned for its unique variety and Wentworth Woodhouse is a fantastic example of our historic architecture that deserves to be protected for the future.
“The Government funding will not only help preserve the building for visitors to enjoy, but it will also be a vital link in the community, creating a business hub and jobs that will benefit the local area.”