Monday, May 23, 2011

News: Plans for the restoration of Wentworth Woodhouse revealed

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Further details of the planned restoration of Wentworth Woodhouse in Rotherham have been unveiled.

The regeneration plans for the Grade 1 Listed building were first revealed by Rothbiz in March and now further details for a publicly accessible restored museum, 70 suite luxury hotel and spa have been announced.

A £26m project to restore the stables, riding school and mews court buildings and their conversion into high quality business space is also planned. It is hoped that the business premises alone would create over 500 net additional jobs and be home to 60 - 80 enterprises and 770 jobs.

The Newbold family, the owners of Wentworth Woodhouse since 1999, has been examining options for the long-term sustainable uses for the buildings in order to ensure the heritage is preserved and enjoyed for future generations, as well as using the opportunity to help generate employment in the locality.

There is a claim for damage against the Coal Authority for at least £100m, in respect of the damage caused by the deep and open cast mining, which is being disputed.

The proposal for the mansion house is to create a combination of publicly accessible restored museum to the central and grandest rooms, as well as a 70 suite luxury hotel and spa to the remainder. This proposal will revive the use of the house in such a way that minimises alteration and change to the historic building, whilst making best use of the magnificent spaces that can be open to and enjoyed by the public.

A survey to establish the urgency and extent of repairs necessary to the property, together with associated budget costs, has highlighted the extensive programme of repairs that is required to the fabric of all the listed properties. The conservation and alteration of the Grade I listed buildings needs to be carried out to an exceptionally high standard, and this affects the overall financial viability of the project.

Lead consultants, Purcell Miller Tritton have been working on the plans and an experienced technical team is in place including architects, cost consultants and property specialists to bring the project forward. It is hoped that it would begin next year and aspects to be completed in 2015.

An outline business plan for the business premises has been submitted in a bid to secure funding from the European Regional Development Fund and other sources of funding are currently being examined, such as the Regional Growth Fund and the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Owner Clifford Newbold said: "Our vision for the buildings of Wentworth Woodhouse is to find sustainable long term uses that are sensitive to the unique character of the site. Our ambition is to see Wentworth Woodhouse once again play its part in the regeneration of the area, creating employment and public enjoyment of this very special place."

The BBC 2 programme, "The Country House Revealed" will feature Wentworth Woodhouse on Tuesday 31st May at 9.00pm.

Images: Johnson Cameraface on flickr, used under Creative Commons license

3 comments:

Anonymous,  May 24, 2011 at 3:05 PM  

Yes Wentworth Woodhouse needs regeneration but not in this way. As others have commented, why not turn it into Rotherham's Chatsworth? Office space is surely not the way forward for this magnificent building.

Anonymous,  May 31, 2011 at 11:10 PM  

Two years ago I read a book by Catherine Bailley called Black Diamonds. I was totally absorbed in the story of Wentworth Woodhouse and very moved by the end, that such a wonderful part of our heritage should fall into such disrepair and the reasons for it. Having watched "The Country House Revealed" this evening, which confirmed details of the open cast and deep mining that took place as close as 16 metres from the property. (This had been covered in Black Diamonds). This wonderful house has been standing for over 300 years and only in the past 50-60 years has it shown such deterioration. I fail to understand how the Coal Board can possibly dispute the case bought against them. Whether the proposed plans are the right solution for this beautiful property, but in my opinion, something has to be done to save it and to support the Newbold family in their efforts to do so.

Anonymous,  February 14, 2012 at 11:26 AM  

I think any idea of saving the beautiful place is fantastic it would have so much to offer the village and rotherham alike. the landscape around it is beautiful i would gladly volunteer to help with restoration of the garedns etc as im sure alot of people would around the areas.

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