Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Friends hope Gothic Hall reopening will herald 'great revival' of Elvaston Castle

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 and events."

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.

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