Tuesday, March 29, 2011

News: Wentworth Woodhouse Regeneration Project


Plans are being drawn up to convert Wentworth Woodhouse, a Grade I listed country house in Rotherham, into a hotel and conference centre together with high quality business and office space.

Lead consultants, Purcell Miller Tritton has submitted an outline business plan to Yorkshire Forward in a bid to secure £7m from the European Regional Development Fund in order to create 96,778 sq ft of office space within the grounds of the house.

The £26m project would see the restoration of the stables, riding school and mews court buildings and their conversion into high quality business space. A second phase would involve the construction of two new sustainable business premises.

£19m of private sector match funding is expected to come from the landowner, Clifford Newbold, a London-based architect who purchased the property in 1999.

The business premises alone would create over 500 net additional jobs and be home to 60 - 80 enterprises and 770 jobs.

The aim is to create a "science park" environment accommodating innovative and high growth businesses, specifically, environmental technologies, healthcare industries, creative and digital new media and professional and business services companies.

In addition to creating the business space, the plan states that the project aims to "provide a sustainable economic use for one of the region's most important heritage and environmental assets.

"The provision of new high quality office space within Wentworth, together with the new conferencing and hotel facilities, will generate much needed local employment."

An experienced technical team is in place including architects, cost consultants and property specialists to bring the project forward and it is hoped that it would begin next year and be completed in 2015.

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


Anonymous,  April 16, 2011 at 3:45 PM  

Tragic that one of the countries finest stately homes should become a hotel and conference center.

chris,  May 8, 2011 at 7:13 PM  

My thoughts entirely lesser homes are looked on as assetts all this has turned into is a money making machine. Wheres the parking facilities and wheres english heritage the greatest piece of yorkshire history will be a white elephant road to destruction.enitusi

Anonymous,  May 16, 2011 at 7:35 PM  

such a shame when a truly gogeous building can't be made into an asset for the local community. furnish it and let people visit and enjoy a true peice of history

Anonymous,  May 17, 2011 at 9:21 PM  

Sad that this a turned into a money making scheme this should be our Chatsworth

Marg,  May 19, 2011 at 6:57 PM  

A real shame. This House should be open to the paying public it is a beautiful house with lots of history. Like anonymous says it should be our Chatsworth.

Anonymous,  May 22, 2011 at 8:34 AM  

This news has turned my stomach. The house should be lived in and loved. It is a wonder of the modern world, the largest house in the country and it will become an office, disgraceful. It is the apple of the yorkshiremans eye why can't money be spent on it to benefit the country and more importantly the village. The money brought in through tourism would be more than enough to cover the costs of refurbishments. If Mr newbold doesn't want to live in it, open it to the public.

Anonymous,  May 22, 2011 at 8:32 PM  

What is a shame are the unbelievably negative comments being made. The house will be saved, lived in and utilised to the full and, more importantly, hundreds of much needed jobs will be created in an area that sorely needs them. Take the blinkers off!!

Tom Austen May 23, 2011 at 9:57 AM  

Thanks for your comments. Further details announced here: http://www.rothbiz.co.uk/2011/05/news-2044-wentworth-woodhouse.html


Anonymous,  May 26, 2011 at 12:44 PM  

Has anyone thought about the impact on the village and the people living there that will be caused by all the extra traffic and visitors etc that will be generated.The local authorities do nothing now about all the illegal parking on pavements etc.repshead

Robert Crosbie,  May 30, 2011 at 3:57 PM  

Whatever happens to it, I hope it won't be out of bounds and that the general public and not just a priviledged few will be able to at least view its awe-inspiring exterior.

Anonymous,  May 30, 2011 at 9:51 PM  

Wonderful news for Rotherham and wentworth. More people, more trade. The biggest shame is that this wonderful building has been stood empty for too many years.

Angela,  May 31, 2011 at 4:23 PM  

Whilst I agree it is shame the house is not being opened up to the public as the magnificent stately home is was, isn't it better that it is used rather than falling into disrepair. As a "local", I am really looking forward to seeing inside our cherished landmark.

Anonymous,  June 1, 2011 at 4:29 AM  

It is good that there is some form of income coming to this house, but at what cost? Will those magnificent interiors exist in even remotely the same way when the offices are installed? Is it even vaguely likely that, as office-space, members of the public will be able to view them? Offices, to my mind, are most often for employees. Of course it is good for the local area to gain new enterprise, but there must be some form of compromise between that and preserving one of Europe's finest pieces of architecture. This is compromise sadly absent in this announcement.

Anonymous,  June 1, 2011 at 11:25 AM  

This is nothing but wannton vandaism of one of the finest country houses in England, it shows a complete lack of respect for the buuilding, knocking it about installing hundreds of miles of wire and all the ancillaries that come with it, once the dammage is done it will be irreversible and a piece of history lost, look back at history and you will see that the people who use this House in search of welth often end in ruin, but those who respect it prosper. Where is English heritage, quick before it's too late surely something can be done to stop this. What's next Blenheim palace as a hotel, surely not.

Anonymous,  June 1, 2011 at 1:39 PM  

Has anyone thought about the damage that these many workers passing through this splendid house everyday would cause, plus the added road traffic. Science park in a stately home pleaese think wisely before destroying a piece of national heritage. If the current owner can no longer afford the upkeep of the building, allow English heritage to help and share this wonder with the nation.

Anonymous,  June 2, 2011 at 8:16 PM  

It would be great if the building could be restored to its former glory and the beautiful paintings and antiques returned. I would much rather see the building turned in to a high end hotel offering weddings, fine dining and special events than see it become office space. The beautiful architecture should be viewed and appreciated by all and not just saved for those who work in the offices proposed! Please re-think this buildings future and give Wentworth/Rotherham back a truly magnificent, historical landmark to be envied.

Gerald Keith Faulkner,  June 2, 2011 at 9:54 PM  

After watching Country House Revealed and seeing Wentworth Woodhouse, being a local lad now living in St Helens it brought back fond memories of when I used to work in, and frequent, Wentworth village and the surrounding areas. It is a great relief to me that Clifford Newbold has bought it. The thought of this great house going to rack and ruin does not bear thinking about. My opinion is that the house should be open to the public like Brodsworth Hall.

E Littlewood,  June 3, 2011 at 9:46 PM  

Wanton vandalism! England's most magnificent home should be restored to be enjoyed by the people of South Yorkshire and beyond.Its character and dramatic history will be lost forever and the surrounding quaint villages will lose their sleepy charm. Funding can be found for frivolous arts projects, maybe it's in the wrong part of the country? National Trust and English Heritage should be fighting over this project!

WILLIAM ST.CLAIR,  June 5, 2011 at 6:54 PM  

E Littlewood is spot on.This is,indeed,wanton vandalism!Do the protagonists of these proposals have any soul or is it that their thinking is based solely on the "bottom line"?
Indeed,do they realise how important both Wentworth Woodhouse and its occupants have been to the area for over 300 years,leaving a cultural and historical legacy almost unequalled in the annals of this country's feudal heritage?
Perhaps if potential developers were fully aware of the signal opportunity given to preserve,as far is humanly possible,the tangible remains of the estate with the above comments in mind,they may be persuaded to take a more aesthetic approach to the future of this unique building.

Anonymous,  June 10, 2011 at 12:15 AM  

Anonymous from Rotherham

At the moment no-one can get anywhere near Wentworth Woodhouse it has to be viewed from a distance if you walk through the surrounding parkland. From what I understand the stables and outbuildings are to be converted into office space and the house itself will be the hotel and conference centre. If the building is falling into disrepair as has been said, at least this plan will save it. The conversion does need to be sympathetic and it is to be hoped that all the features will be saved and enhanced. People will be able to see the building and enjoy it. I think it has to be asked why it has not already been opened to the public i.e. like Chatsworth, where have English Heritage been? I think as someone has already said - is it in the wrong part of the country? One last point it will provide much needed employment in an area where jobs are few and far between.

Jan Loxley-Blount,  June 16, 2011 at 10:22 AM  

Why can't at least part of it - the most special rooms be open to the public and some of the rest as a hotel & conference centre???

J Crundell,  June 16, 2011 at 2:20 PM  

What a shame that such a beautiful house will be used in this way. For many years I have viewed this property from a far in awe and have wondered how beautiful the interior would be, and have hoped beyond hope that one day I would be able to visit the house and see the property for myself. Sadly this now seems to be a distant dream. This property should be restored and made available to the general public, this is indeed our Chatsworth. If the proposed work should go ahead as envisaged then the property will be more than likely damaged beyond repair. The magnificient stable yard to be turned into office space - absolute vandalism ! Open up the house and grounds to the general public and let us all be proud to be from South Yorkshire. Don't destroy this magnificent house and our heritage.

Tom Austen June 16, 2011 at 3:48 PM  

Thanks for all your comments. Further details on the plans that include a publicly accessible restored museum to the central and grandest rooms are here: http://www.rothbiz.co.uk/2011/05/news-2044-wentworth-woodhouse.html

Anonymous,  September 18, 2011 at 6:21 PM  

Like many others, I am disgusted at the plans to convert this wonderful building into offices. It should be restored to its former glory and allow the public to share its beauty. Like the village Garden Centre, it would attract many visitors, therfore, providing money to cover costs.

Anonymous,  January 3, 2012 at 6:04 PM  

Has the grant been agreed to yet ? I understand there was to be an answer last August but can find no reference to this anywhere Could we ,who are so interested in the project be kept up to dateThank you

Anonymous,  March 26, 2012 at 8:43 AM  

Has anyone read Catherine Bailey's book "Black Diamonds"? It explains the gap between miners and owners.
I found it very good.

The Labor government was hell bent on destroying the Fitzwilliams. Yes the social balance needed to be addressed but the owners of this amazing house could still be maintaining this house if they where helped to do this.

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