Hartlebury Castle Preservation Trust (HCPT) has bought Hartlebury Castle and 43 acres of parkland from the Church Commissioners with the help of the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) recent award of £5m. The transfer took place on Friday 27th March.
The Trust, in association with Worcestershire County Council (WCC) and Museums Worcestershire (MW), will now be able to preserve the historic Castle and its valuable assets as well as embarking on programs for activities and improved access.
The Trust and Museums Worcestershire will make the Castle, Hurd Library, Collections of the Museum and Castle, as well as Gardens into an integrated visitor destination that will benefit the local area and serve as a major attraction for visitors from around the UK and beyond. This will continue a thousand years of public access to the former home of the Bishops of Worcester.
Robert Greenwood, Chair at HCPT commented, “We are delighted that with the help of HLF award we have now been able to buy the Castle after so many years of uncertainty. The generosity of so many organisations, authorities and individuals who have pledged matched funding, revenue support, individual gifts and time now enables us to go ahead with our plans.”
“We will spend the remainder of this year completing our plans and hopefully starting some work. Next year major works within the Bishop’s House, including restoring the Long Gallery and installing a new lift to serve the Hurd Library and upper floors, will be done. In 2017 the restoration will be complete and the whole Castle will once again function as a single building.”
A spokesperson for Worcestershire County Council said: “It has been a pleasure to work with the Hartlebury Castle Preservation Trust to secure the long-term future of this fabulous building steeped in the county’s history. We look forward to working as a partnership to deliver a first class visitor attraction which will be a wonderful asset to World Class Worcestershire.”
Rosemarie Jones, Deputy Surveyor for the Church Commissioners said:
“The Church Commissioners are pleased to have worked successfully with the Hartlebury Castle Preservation Trust (HCPT), and its partners to secure a sale to them in a way that meets our charitable responsibilities. We have worked closely with the Trust and are delighted that they will take over the Castle, former home to the Bishop of Worcester, and work on plans to preserve the property for education and as a tourist attraction, open to all.”
The Rt. Revd The Bishop of Worcester, Dr. John Inge, said:
“I am delighted that the Hartlebury Castle Preservation Trust has completed its purchase of the castle ending several years of anxiety about its future as well as that of its great library. This achievement is due to a great deal of hard work and constructive collaboration by the many friends of the Castle, the County Council and the Church Commissioners as well as the generous support of the HLF. It is very good news for the people of Worcestershire and beyond and I look forward to the next phase in the life of this great building: it will be an exciting one”.
Angela Brinton DL, President of the Hartlebury Castle Preservation Trust said:
“I would like to say how thrilled the community of Hartlebury and the county will be to have secured this very special building. How hard everyone has worked towards this outcome and how exciting it will be turning our dreams into reality. Partnership working at its best.”
For Further Information Images & Interviews Please Contact:
Robert Greenwood – Chair HCPT Email