Derbyshire County Council has been looking for a sustainable way forward for Elvaston Castle and Estate for some years and is working together with the National Trust to secure its future.
Elvaston Castle and Estate is designated as a ‘historic park and garden’. The castle and many of the buildings and features within the wider landscape are protected and of national importance for their heritage interest. These designations highlight the value of the Castle and wider landscape but also place limits on how the Estate can be used. At the same time, over 350,000 people come every year to enjoy this wonderful and much loved place
Since the 1990’s the cost to Derbyshire County Council of running the Estate and maintaining the buildings and other infrastructure has become increasingly difficult. The Estate currently costs some £800,000 every year to manage, at a time when local government is under increasing financial pressure with many competing demands for funding.
Many of the buildings are in decline, the Castle is not open to the public and most buildings do not have a current use, whilst the gardens and landscape are steadily declining and losing their historic value. An assessment in 2010 indicated that simply to carry out all the essential repairs to the buildings & landscape would cost over £6 million. Full repair and restoration would cost considerably more. Find out more in our Background Reading.
Therefore, Derbyshire County Council has been working with local people and interested organisations to gather their ideas about how best to look after this special place. This has helped shape a 10 year ‘Vision and Plan’ for Elvaston Castle and Estate that aims to secure the many benefits of the Elvaston estate for public access and recreation, heritage and conservation, while gradually placing the estate on more sustainable financial footing.
To see the revised ‘Vision and Plan’ go to the Engagement & Consultation Documents page.
Key to the Vision is six ‘guiding principles’. These principles will direct ALL future management decisions, whoever is responsible for Elvaston Castle and Estate:
- Freehold of the Estate will be retained by Derbyshire County Council;
- A competent single management body will control the overall governance of the estate with the balance of conservation, heritage and access at its core;
- Financial sustainability will be fundamental to the delivery of the vision, facilitated by a business model that provides on-going reinvestment in the long term stewardship of the Estate without eroding its significance;
- The historic, landscape and biodiversity significance will be protected, conserved and, where sustainable, enhanced;
- Public access to the gardens, parkland and house will be provided and maintained; the parkland at least will be free at the point of entry on foot. The stories and rich heritage will be understood, shared and celebrated;
- People, community involvement and partnership working will be at the heart of all activities.
Now that the Vision is in place, attention is now focused on work towards creating a new management body for the Elvaston Estate, together with business planning to help deliver the Vision.
Please note, the National Trust’s role does not imply it will have any long-term involvement in the management or ownership of the Elvaston Estate.