The National Trust is expected to take on a 25 year lease for Barnsley’s Grade I Listed Wentworth Castle gardens, which have been closed to the public since the trust which ran the historic site folded amid financial troubles.
Joanna Royle, assistant director for the National Trust in the north, said “Wentworth Castle Gardens is such an important and beautiful place, and it is a vital green space for local communities. We’re looking forward to building on the hard work of Wentworth Castle and Stainborough Park Heritage Trust at the site while sharing the rich heritage and stories of the gardens and its creators.
“But above all, we want to ensure that everyone visiting next year will be made very welcome and once again be able to enjoy this as a place to explore, walk, relax, play and spend time together outdoors.
“We are delighted to be working together with Barnsley Council, The Northern College, and the local community to help safeguard it.”
Barnsley Council leader Sir Steve Houghton said: “I’m really pleased to announce our partnership with the National Trust and Northern College that will see Wentworth Castle Gardens reopen to the public.
“It has always been our ambition to secure a sustainable future for this magnificent estate and our partnership with the National Trust does just that.
“This is a great investment for Barnsley, boosting our visitor economy and bringing new jobs into the borough. I look forward to seeing people from all over the country visit Barnsley and Wentworth Castle Gardens.”
Diana Terris, Barnsley Council’s Chief Executive, added: “We’ll work closely with the National Trust, through our award-winning Barnsley Museums service, to get our local communities involved in development of the site.
“A lot of work has happened over the past 18 months to get us to this point. I would like to thank the staff and volunteers who have maintained the gardens while we’ve been going through the process of securing a future for the site.”
Northern College is expected to collaborate on educational and community projects, encouraging its own students and volunteers from the wider community to get involved.