Hartlebury Castle Preservation Trust wins £413,700 lottery grant
A group hoping to buy the former home of the Bishop of Worcester has been awarded £413,700 of lottery money.
The Hartlebury Castle Preservation Trust has agreed to pay Church Commissioners £2.45m for the freehold of the castle and grounds.
The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) turned down a bid for £478,000 from the trust in 2011 over concerns about the original asking price.
The trust wants to keep the castle, museum and library open to the public.
It houses the county museum and the Hurd Library, a collection of 5,000 volumes dating from 1476.
Robert Greenwood, from the trust, said the award was "a very significant first step to securing the future of this magnificent heritage site".
'Centre of culture'
The trust plans to raise the money to buy the castle using contributions from private donors, and has raised £50,000 from donations made by members of the public.
Iain Rutherford, from Museums Worcestershire, said: "We look forward to working in partnership with the trust to deliver one of the best tourist attractions in the Midlands, indeed in England, and to re-establishing Hartlebury as an important centre of learning and culture."
The castle was the residence of the Bishop of Worcester until 2007.