Saved against the odds
ON March 24, after many complications, the great neo-classical Wentworth Woodhouse, South Yorkshire, passed into the hands of the specially formed Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust. The purchase of the property for £7 million is an astonishing coup for SAVE, which helped establish the charitable trust.
Marcus Binney, SAVE’S executive president, comments: ‘This is a triumph against all the odds. It is a deal that the lawyers advised was so complicated it could never normally be done. It has taken five years of sustained hard work to secure support.’ The proposals are underpinned by a £7.6 million grant towards urgent repairs announced by the Chancellor in his Autumn Statement. The intention is that, over the next 15–20 years, this huge house will be able to both generate—and, as a charitable undertaking, attract— the £42 million necessary for repairs. The business plan, funded by the National Trust, incorporates events, office space, houses, flats, holiday lets and public access.
The £7 million for the purchase of the house has come from a collection of bodies: the National Heritage Memorial Fund, The Monument Trust, The Art Fund, The J. P. Getty Jnr Charitable Trust and Sir Siegmund Warburg’s Voluntary Settlement. JG