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Hartlebury Castle sale to preservation trust a step closer
HARTLEBURY Castle is a step closer to being sold to the body set up to preserve the historic site.
Owners, the Church Commissioners, have agreed a price of £2.45 million with Hartlebury Castle Preservation Trust (HCPT) for the freehold of the castle, gardens and 40 acres of parkland.
It means the trust - formed with the aim of acquiring the castle from its owners - can now concentrate its efforts on submitting a revised bid for money from the Heritage Lottery Fund after its previous application was rejected in November 2011.
The new deal also involves a long-term loan of important pictures and furniture, including the historic books in the Hurd Library which was built for Richard Hurd, Bishop of Worcester, in 1782.
Its collection includes a New Testament given to Alexander Pope by Jonathan Swift and a 1611 edition of Spenser’s works, which was opened by John Dryden and then Mr Pope.
HCPT chairman, Alison Brimelow, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have reached an agreement with the Commissioners. It is a very important milestone on our road to acquisition of the castle.
“With the backing of the Commissioners and the support of Worcestershire County Council , we can concentrate on revising our bid and securing the additional funds.”
The deadline for the group’s lottery fund bid is October 2012 and a decision on “round 1” is expected in January 2013.
Rosemarie Jones, Church Commissioners deputy surveyor, said: “Hartlebury Castle is a valuable resource for Worcester and the heart of England and we are committed to working with the preservation trust to preserve the castle and ensure it remains a public facility.
“We wish them every success in their big to the Heritage Lottery Fund.”
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