Chancellor's surprise £7.6m grant to save Wentworth

The Chancellor announced a surprise £7.6m Government grant to save Wentworth Woodhouse in Rotherham in the Autumn Statement - with just seven days to spare.

Wednesday, 23rd November 2016, 1:57 pm
Updated Tuesday, 29th November 2016, 9:31 am
Wentworth Woodhouse

Philip Hammond said local campaigners had secured millions for the crumbling stately home and the grant would pay the balance of funding before a November 30 deadline.

The surprise announcement was one of several measures affecting Yorkshire announced in his first appearance at the despatch box including ‘continued devolution’ Growth Deal funding to create jobs and investment to upgrade roads, public transport and flood defences.

John Healey, in the red tie, listens to Chancellor Philip Hammond

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He said: “Wentworth Woodhouse is at critical risk of being lost to future generations. “A local effort has secured millions in funding from grants and charities – subject to the balance required being found by November 30th. So we will provide a £7.6m grant towards urgent repairs to safeguard this key piece of Northern heritage.”

The grant comes after a campaign involving local businesswoman Julie Kenny, chair of trustees of the Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust, and Rotherham MP John Healey.

He said it was a vote of confidence for the trust and Julie Kenny.

He added: “This is great news which gives the full go-ahead to plans to preserve one of Britain’s Great Houses for the nation.

John Healey, in the red tie, listens to Chancellor Philip Hammond

“I’m delighted the Chancellor 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 Chancellor also revealed that Local Enterprise Partnerships in Yorkshire and the Humber will receive a share of £556 million of Growth Deal funding for projects creating jobs.

And the region would receive a slice of £1.3 billion to reduce congestion and upgrade roads and public transport networks. New flood defences at Stainforth near Doncaster, and Otley in Leeds, will be built to protect homes. And £24m will go towards hosting the cycling road World Championships in 2019 and for cycle infrastructure.