Elvaston Castle future opened up to public consultation
A consultation is to start next month over the future of a Grade-II listed property in Derbyshire which needs an estimated £6m in repairs.
Elvaston Castle, owned by Derbyshire County Council, was turned into a country park in 1969.
The council is now working with the National Trust to shape its future.
Social enterprise expert Roger Moores, who has been working with the Friends of Elvaston Castle, said they wanted the castle to stay open to the public.Working together
"Over the last 18 months they [the council] have had a complete rethink of the future of the castle," said Mr Moores, CEO at Social Enterprise East Midlands.
"They are now prepared to look at alternatives for it to remain with public access but recognise there needs to be some commercial enterprise to make it sustainable."
The first manor house was built on the site in 1633.
The council had previously announced plans to sell the building but this was abandoned following protests from the friends group.
A county council spokesman said: "We are working together with visitors and other stakeholders to develop a vision and plan which will encourage a sustainable future and guide the management of Elvaston Castle and Country Park over the next 10 years.
"The plan will cover the buildings, garden and grounds which Derbyshire County Council saved from almost certain destruction from gravel extraction by buying it in 1969 and then created one of the first country parks in England."
The property was used as a teacher training college during World War II, but has been largely empty since 1947. It now costs about £800,000 a year to maintain.
The castle has only one room which is open to the public and has been on English Heritage's buildings-at-risk register for several years.
People can give their views at a series of workshops being held from next month and through an online questionnaire.