Hartlebury Castle Preservation Trust (HCPT) has bought Hartlebury Castle and 43 acres of parkland from the Church Commissioners with the help of the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) recent award of £5m
The transfer took place on Friday 27th March.
The Trust, in association with Worcestershire County Council (WCC) and Museums Worcestershire (MW), will now be able to preserve the historic Castle and its valuable assets as well as embarking on programmes for activities and improved access.
The Trust and Museums Worcestershire will make the Castle, Hurd Library, Collections of the Museum and Castle, as well as Gardens into an integrated visitor destination that will benefit the local area and serve as a major attraction for visitors from around the UK and beyond. This will continue a thousand years of public access to the former home of the Bishops of Worcester.
Robert Greenwood, Chair at HCPT said: "We are delighted that with the help of HLF award we have now been able to buy the Castle after so many years of uncertainty. The generosity of so many organisations, authorities and individuals who have pledged matched funding, revenue support, individual gifts and time now enables us to go ahead with our plans."
"We will spend the remainder of this year completing our plans and hopefully starting some work. Next year major works within the Bishop's House, including restoring the Long Gallery and installing a new lift to serve the Hurd Library and upper floors, will be done. In 2017 the restoration will be complete and the whole Castle will once again function as a single building"
Neil Anderson, head of Community and Environment for Worcestershire County Council added: "It has been a pleasure to work with the Hartlebury Castle Preservation Trust to secure the long-term future of this fabulous building steeped in the county's history. We look forward to working as a partnership to deliver a first class visitor attraction which will be a wonderful asset to World Class Worcestershire."