From The Derby Telegraph
The owner of a dismantled Georgian country house has offered to rebuild it to serve as a Wright of Derby tourist attraction. Kevin Ellis owns Burnaston House, a country house in Derbyshire taken apart in the 1990s and put into storage so that a Toyota plant could be built.
Mr Ellis has spoken out in the wake of a new debate over whether the city is making the most of its Wrights.
In June, it was revealed the city council owns several Wrights that are stored out of public sight. At the moment, some oils are on display in a dedicated room at the Museum and Art Gallery but Mr Ellis believes they and the dozens of sketches in storage deserve greater exposure.
This month saw the official launch of Derby Museums, a charitable trust which will work to improve the city's museums service and promote Wright of Derby.
Its executive director, Stuart Gillis, said: "Derby Museums, the city council and other partners are working together on development schemes for various aspects of the city's excellent heritage. It is unclear how the type of proposal suggested could currently be accommodated; however, it's very useful to know about this resource. We suggest that Mr Ellis seeks guidance from English Heritage."
Derby Museums is drawing up its own plans to take the collection of Wright paintings on an international tour of top art galleries.
The exhibition would then end in Derby with a large celebratory event. Mr Gillis said he hoped the tour could show the people of Derby the true value of the Wright collection.
ELVASTON Castle's Gothic Hall, designed by Lewis Cottingham in 1831 for the 4th Earl of Harrington, is to be opened to the public once more.
The Grade II* listed castle in Derbyshire has been closed since it was last used as a wedding venue in 2007. £36,500 has been spent making the hall compliant with fire
regulations by putting in place a new fire alarm system.
A council spokeswoman said: "Public viewing days will be held
several times a year. And the Gothic Hall is now available for hire –
providing a unique setting for meetings, workshops
The authority says it wants to find someone to take over the
upkeep of the castle and its grounds because the £700,000 a year upkeep costs are not affordable. It is waiting to hear from the National Trust about whether the
organisation is able to take over the grounds before tendering for
takeover bids after the last proposal – to turn it into an hotel and
golf course – failed. Campaign group The Friends of Elvaston Castle is seeking to keep the building in public hands.
A spokesman said he hoped opening the Gothic Hall to the
public would signal "the beginning of a great revival for the property. It is obviously excellent news that the council has now
managed to overcome its previous problems regarding fire regulations
and is reopening the Gothic Hall for public events. We believe further
revenue could also be earned by opening up other areas in the castle and
that the demand for these could surprise the council". From The Derby Telegraph.