Wentworth Woodhouse sold to conservation group for £7m
One of Europe's largest stately homes has been bought by a conservation group for £7m.
The Grade-1 listed Wentworth Woodhouse, near Rotherham, has been sold to the Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust.
The sale of the mansion and 82-acre estate was funded by grants, pledges and donations, including £3.5m from the National Heritage Memorial Fund.
The trust said the house would remain open to the public and has announced plans for a 15-year repair project.
The 18th Century house and its grounds have featured in a number of film and TV productions, including Mr Turner, the 2014 biographical drama about the life of painter J M W Turner, last year's BBC mini-series Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell and the Antiques Roadshow.
It is also believed to be the largest private house in the UK, with 250,000 sq ft (23,000 sq m) of floor space.
A spokesman for Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust (WWPT), which was established by SAVE Britain's Heritage, said the house would remain open to the public.
He said: "The long-term strategy is for the public to visit and enjoy all the most interesting parts of the property while restoring the others for revenue-earning uses such as events and holiday lets with business units in the stables.
"Traditionally a historic house of this size would have required a vast endowment.
"This business model will provide a substantial income stream intended to cover both running costs and periodic bouts of repair."
WWPT has previously said an estimated £42m needs to be spent on repairs.
It is hoped completion of the sale will take place within two to three months.
Julie Kenny, chair of WWPT, said: "Raising the money was a journey but we've got an even bigger one to come now.
"The trust is looking forward to it immensely. It is a fantastic building, lots of people want to come and see it and now it will be there for the nation for years to come."
The 300-room house was put up for sale in May following the death of owner Clifford Newbold.
A previous £8m deal to sell it to a Hong Kong-based investment company fell through in November.