Historic building to be revived with £4m from National Lottery

An award of over £4m from The National Lottery Heritage Fund means Camellia House, at Rotherham’s Wentworth Woodhouse estate, will be restored and turned into a tea house.

Saving and repurposing the Grade II* listed property is the Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust’s first regeneration project, now £9.7m of vital repairs have been completed to other historic buildings on its site.

Thanks to funding raised by National Lottery players, and support from other funders including Historic England and The Hamish Ogston Foundation, the glass-fronted structure will return to its past splendour.

The Georgian era building was on the Heritage at Risk Register and was recently propped up to prevent it collapsing.

David Renwick, director, England, North at The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “Over the last six years, The National Lottery Heritage Fund has invested over £690,000 to support Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust to get to this point and ensure the transformation of one of the UK’s grandest stately homes can get underway.

“We’re delighted to be supporting the Trust with this latest grant to embark on restoring the beautiful Camellia House for the public, and especially those within the local community, to enjoy and explore its fascinating heritage.”

A year-long transformation begins in early summer 2022. Up to 22 new local hospitality jobs will be created when the tea house opens in summer 2023. The Camellia House will also serve as an evening events space and a hub for a host of tea-inspired events.

Sarah McLeod, CEO, Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust, added: “We are very grateful to National Lottery players via the National Lottery Heritage Fund for this significant grant award.

“We can now take a huge step forward in delivering our aspirations – regenerating Wentworth Woodhouse so it can benefit all people living in South Yorkshire and be an even greater source of local pride.

“Renovating the Camellia House is the first phase in our wider masterplan project to begin Wentworth Woodhouse’s new life, turning ‘Yorkshire’s Hidden Gem’ into a jewel in the crown of not only Yorkshire’s heritage, but the UK’s.”

The full cost of the Camellia House project is £5m. Additional funding is already pledged and includes £250,000 from Historic England and £364,622 from The Hamish Ogston Foundation, via Historic England.