Blenheim Palace to increase charity work in community

Blenheim Palace Image copyright Blenheim Palace
Image caption The 10-year development programme has been described as a "huge undertaking"

Blenheim Palace will double its charity work as part of a £40m regeneration programme, its CEO has promised.

Dominic Hare said the World Heritage Site in Oxfordshire would increase its contribution to the local economy and be the "economic lifeblood of the area".

Plans to build 300 homes on fields owned by the palace have already been approved, despite local opposition.

The 18th Century estate is the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill.

Mr Hare said: "We believe there is no possible vision for a future successful and flourishing Blenheim which does not depend on a flourishing and successful set of communities around it - and the same is true in reverse."

He added that the aim was to "act boldly, with a considered and long-term view of prosperity - for Blenheim and for the communities we support and who support us".

Mr Hare described the 10-year development programme as a "huge undertaking".

Other plans include:

  • The training of more than 100 apprentices
  • An increase in spending on charitable causes, including church restorations
  • To become a net generator of green energy
  • The repurchasing of historical artefacts once owned by the palace

Recent work has included the restoration of its North Steps, whilst 27 homes and new offices have been built in Bladon.

Blenheim Palace was originally built to celebrate Britain's victory over the French in the War of the Spanish Succession and was completed in 1733.

It is the residence of the Duke of Marlborough and was designated as a Unesco World Heritage Site in 1987.

It opened to the general public in 1950 and has also raised money by being a popular site for filmmakers, featuring in the James Bond film Spectre, Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation, Cinderella, and Transformers: The Last Knight.

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