Hartlebury Castle's 'future secured' with lottery grant
The future of a stately home in Worcestershire has been secured thanks to a £5m heritage lottery grant.
Hartlebury Castle was the home of the Bishop of Worcester until 2007, when the Church of England decided to sell the estate.
The castle trust said in 2012 it had agreed to pay £2.45m for the freehold of the castle, gardens and parkland.
A spokesman for the Heritage Lottery Fund said the site had been "saved for future generations".
The castle houses the county museum and the Hurd Library, a collection of 5,000 volumes ranging in date from 1476 to the early 19th Century, which includes more than 40 volumes from the library of Alexander Pope.
The Hartlebury Castle Preservation Trust said the castle will become an "integrated visitor destination".
"For centuries, Hartlebury Castle was Worcestershire's powerful centre of influence, and it's great to know that we are now able to achieve the dream of the founder trustees, members and volunteers," a spokesman said.
The trust said it plans to complete the purchase from the church by early December.