Champion of Wentworth Woodhouse Julie Kenny made a Dame

Julie Kenny DBE, the self-made Rotherham businesswoman and heritage campaigner has received a damehood, at Buckingham Palace.

Friday, 8th November 2019, 2:27 pm
Dame Julie Kenny from Lindrick Dale is made a Dame Commander of the British Empire by the Princess Royal at Buckingham Palace. Photo credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
Dame Julie Kenny from Lindrick Dale is made a Dame Commander of the British Empire by the Princess Royal at Buckingham Palace. Photo credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

She was bestowed with the title Dame Commander of the British Empire, the second-highest honour in the land, at an investiture ceremony conducted by Princess Anne.

It was recognition for her crucial role in securing the future of the Grade I listed stately home Wentworth Woodhouse in Rotherham, where she is chair of the preservation trust.

In an earlier career, she built home alarm manufacturer Pyronix into a £25m turnover business supplying 65 countries. She sold it in 2016.

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A huge party was staged at the house in Julie’s honour. Staff, supporters of the trust including trustees and stakeholders, and Julie’s family and friends .

Said Julie, 62: “I was thrilled and humbled to receive this honour at the Palace - it was my second visit there, having received my CBE in 2002 from Prince Charles.

“But equally special for me was celebrating at Wentworth Woodhouse with everyone. The party couldn’t have been anywhere better. The first time I saw the house I fell in love with it and when I knew that its future was in such dire straits, I was determined to do all in my power to ensure its future for Rotherham and the nation.”

Julie’s damehood was announced in the Queen’s Birthday Honours this summer.

The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire rewards public service and contributions to the arts, sciences, charities and welfare organisations.

Julie’s determination enabled the trust to purchase the mansion, stables, riding school, camellia house and 83 acres in March 2017 for £7million following a campaign backed by SAVE British Heritage.