Autumn Statement: A £7.6m lifeline for a Yorkshire stately home

Wentworth Woodhouse
Wentworth Woodhouse
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A STATELY home said to be the inspiration for the Pemberley country estate in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudiced will be saved with the help of Government cash.

Chancellor Philip Hammond announced £7.6m would be given to fund urgent repairs at Wentworth Woodhouse, between Barnsley and Rotherham.

The estate surrounding the building was once the site of significant mining and the costs of repairing damage from subsidence have proved impossible to meet for a series of owners.

SAVE Britain’s Heritage and the Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust has raised £7m towards the cost of buying the property from the Newbold family but a further £42m is needed to pay for repairs.

Wentworth and Dearne MP John Healey said: “This is great news which gives the full go-ahead to plans to preserve one of Britain’s Great Houses for the nation.“I met the Chancellor personally last month to press the case with the chair of the Trust Julie Kenny and Conservative MP Robert Jenrick, who is a heritage expert.

“We’ve been meeting ministers and civil servants behind the scenes for over a year, so I’m delighted that the Chancellor today recognised the scale of the challenge in saving Wentworth Woodhouse for the public and backed the huge potential boost it could bring to jobs, businesses and visitors in the North.”

The Government money arrived just seven days before other offers of financial help were due to expire.

Marcus Binney, executive president of SAVE, said: “This is the most time-consuming and complex rescue operation SAVE has ever mounted. We hope WWPT can now move towards exchange of contracts and purchase in the New Year.”