1. ITV Report

Bodelwyddan Castle to close after trust decides to sell lease

Credit: Bodelwyddan Castle Trust

The trustees of Bodelwyddan Castle in Denbighshire have put the 125-year lease they hold on a large part of the property up for sale.

Bodelwyddan Castle Trust (BCT), which runs the castle, museum and art gallery, near Rhyl, wants to use the money it will raise to continue its public education role and allow access to its collection of Welsh art by linking to a charity with a similar ethos.

The decision to sell the remaining 99 years of the lease to the highest bidder and close in 2019 follows the withdrawal of a £144,000 support grant from Denbighshire County Council.

The castle dates from before 1460, but was renovated in the 1830s. Credit: Bodelwyddan Castle Trust

In a Facebook post on the castle's official page, management said the house would close to the public "whilst negotiations are in place".

They thanked "trustees, staff and volunteers" for their support. Dr Helen Papworth, Chair of trustees, described the "loyal staff and volunteers" that work at the attraction.

In the three years that I have been a trustee, I have seen the impact of costs savings which resulted in the removal of the National Portrait Gallery collection in February, 2017 with the loss of a significant number of employees.

Despite the financial pressures, the remaining core of loyal staff and volunteers have created a range of exhibitions of Welsh art and, to complement the tours through replica trenches in the grounds, the World War One exhibition.

The beautifully maintained parkland and woods have attracted many people who come to enjoy the different events, such as theatre and displays, or to observe the local wildlife in tranquil surrounds.

We believe that the sale of the lease will enable our resources to be used for similar charitable purposes, providing visitors to North Wales, and local people, with continued access to the collection of Welsh artworks stored at the castle.

– Dr Helen Papworth, Chair BCT