Bodelwyddan Castle to close after trust sells lease

Bodelwyddan Castle Image copyright Dot Potter/ Geograph
Image caption The castle was bought by the former Clwyd county council in the 1980s

A 19th Century castle will close after the trust that runs it agreed to sell its lease.

Bodelwyddan Castle Trust, which runs the castle, museum and art gallery, is to sell the remaining 99 years of its 125-year lease.

The castle in Denbighshire will then close at some point in 2019.

Trust chairwoman Dr Helen Papworth said: "We believe that the sale of the lease will enable our resources to be used for similar charitable purposes."

In 2017, Denbighshire council announced it would be axing the trust's £144,000 annual grant which led to seven of the trust's 13 staff losing their jobs and the closure of an exhibition of 130 paintings from the National Portrait Gallery.

Image copyright Bodelwyddan Castle Trust
Image caption The castle is set in 260 acres of land

The first castle on the site was built in about 1460 before it was rebuilt in the 1830s.

The Grade II*-listed building was used as a hospital for wounded soldiers in World War One before being sold and turned into a private school for girls from 1920 to 1982.

Lambert Smith Hampton is advising the trust on the sale.

Director Colin Jennings said: "Whilst its clearly disappointing to see the closure of Bodelwyddan Castle, its sale will provide a unique opportunity for a purchaser to develop this prominent listed building into an alternative tourist attraction to compliment the recent investments in nearby centres along the A55."

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