Multimillion-pound plans to refurbish country hall

Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens
Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens

A major project to refurbish Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens has received a funding boost.

English Heritage is set to revive the celebrated attraction thanks to initial support for funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). The property, one of English Heritage’s key sites in the North East, will benefit from a total investment of £3.5million.

The extensive project includes major work to rejuvenate the renowned gardens, conservation work to the Old Stables, including the provision of a brand-new, family-friendly space and facilities, and a play-and-learn area with an outdoor classroom, and conservation and repair works to the roof of the hall.

This work forms part of the charity’s major national conservation programme – the largest in the history of the sites in its care.

Work is planned to start in the summer of 2019, with phased completion in 2020 and 2021.

English Heritage is keen to remain open to visitors during the full open season of 2019 – with an aim to inform and engage visitors on the work as it evolves – a scheme which has worked well at other sites.

Andrea Selley, historic properties director for English Heritage North, said: “Belsay Hall, together with its medieval castle and unique 20 acres of gardens, is one of our jewels in the North East.

“Conservation of this very special classical Greek revival hall is a priority and we see the addition of these new visitor facilities and new interpretation as essential to improve the experience of this special place for visitors.

“We are also pleased to be working in partnership with the Belsay Trust, which manages the wider landscape around Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens.”

Having been awarded initial support and a £192,500 development grant by HLF, English Heritage is finalising details to apply for a confirmed grant of £1,885,100.