Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Wentworth Woodhouse awarded £7.6m in Autumn Statement

Wentworth Woodhouse Image copyright Dave Pickersgill
Image caption Wentworth Woodhouse requires about £50m of repairs said Save Britain's Heritage

One of Europe's largest stately homes, Wentworth Woodhouse, has been granted £7.6m by the chancellor of the exchequer in the Autumn Statement.

The Grade I-listed mansion near Rotherham was bought by the Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust for £7m.

But the building and 82-acre estate is facing a £50m restoration bill.

It has featured in films and TV productions including a drama about artist J M W Turner and the BBC mini-series Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell.

Mike Fox, deputy director of Save Britain's Heritage, said: "The money will put the trust on a sound footing."

Chancellor Philip Hammond described the building as being at a "critical state of being lost to future generations".

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Image caption The house has been open to the public since 2012

Mr Fox said the building was "comparable in size to a cathedral" and so were the costs of repairing it.

There was no specific information yet about the grant, he added.

Marcus Binney, of Save Britain's Heritage, said this restoration was "the most arduous, time-consuming and complex rescue operation" the group had been involved with.

The house was put up for sale following the death of owner Clifford Newbold.

It is believed to be the largest private house in the UK, with 250,000 sq ft (23,000 sq m) of floor space.

The chancellor's Autumn Statement is the first major economic statement since the Brexit vote, and he said growth predictions had been cut as a result of the Brexit vote.

It also included a move to expand tax relief for museums and galleries to include permanent exhibitions. The new tax relief, which starts in April, was originally only intended to be available for temporary and touring exhibitions.

The rates of relief will be set at 20% for non-touring exhibitions and 25% for touring exhibitions. The relief will be capped at £500,000 of qualifying expenditure per exhibition.

Image copyright Savills
Image caption The house was put up for sale in May following the death of owner Clifford Newbold

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