Council offers reasurrances over historic attraction as budget cuts spell end of Bexley Heritage Trust
PUBLISHED: 11:47 01 November 2016
Council tells residents, staff and volunteers to expect ‘business as usual’ for Tudor house
The council has moved to reassure residents about the future of Hall Place and Gardens after Bexley Heritage Trust announced it would no longer be able to run the popular attraction.
Cuts to the trust’s council grant and the prospect of becoming self-sufficient by 2020 mean the Tudor house and gardens will be handed back to the council as of April 2017 after a unanimous vote by trustees.
Residents, staff and volunteers are being reassured that it will be ‘business as usual’ as the council looks to run Hall Place and Gardens as a going concern.
Peter Craske, cabinet member for environment and leisure, said the removal of the trust’s grant was a ‘difficult decision’ caused by the gradual removal of funding from central government.
He added: “The council recognises the significance of Hall Place and Gardens - an important and well-loved heritage site – which is not only an impressive historic destination for residents and tourists, but also provides a premiere wedding and event venue.
“In recognition of its value, I would like to make it absolutely clear that it will be ‘business as normal’ for Hall Place House and Gardens – both as a visitor attraction and also as a wedding/event venue.”
Bill Roots, who has chaired Bexley Heritage Trust for the past nine years, said: “The trust has increased earned income and made many economies in recent years as the council’s core funding has declined. However, we cannot run Hall Place and Gardens after that core funding ends in April 2018.
“It is a sad end to the trust after 15 years. My thanks go to the staff and our business partners for their support. I hope that visitors will continue to enjoy Hall Place and Gardens.”