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National Trust to take over Duffryn House and Gardens on Jan 1st

posted 25 Sept 2012, 09:31 by Ian Perry
The National Trust, Wales’s largest conservation charity, has signed an innovative agreement with the Vale of Glamorgan Council that will see the Trust take on the management of Dyffryn Gardens on a 50-year lease from January 2013.
The Vale council reports that "Both organisations have agreed that the National Trust is best placed to build on the excellent work of the Vale of Glamorgan Council, to enhance the visitor experience and to make Dyffryn Gardens, and ultimately Dyffryn House, one of the most significant visitor attractions in South Wales."
Commenting on the partnership, Justin Albert, National Trust Director for Wales said:  “The National Trust is privileged to be taking responsibility for the stewardship of Dyffryn Gardens and House.
 “We care for some of the most significant houses, gardens, coast and countryside in Wales, England and Northern Ireland and we will be proud to count Dyffryn Gardens among them.
“The Vale of Glamorgan Council has been outstanding in its work to preserve and develop Dyffryn Gardens as a tremendous asset for people locally and in Wales more widely. I wish to thank the council for entrusting the property to our future care.
“We are focused on ensuring the Trust’s involvement in this partnership will continue to bring great benefit to all who visit Dyffryn Gardens and the local community.
“As we saw with the agreement and handover of Tredegar House six months ago, we feel this can be another great example of how the National Trust and councils can work together in partnership to preserve our cultural and historical heritage in Wales.
“From next year we are pleased that we will have two marvellous properties to offer residents and visitors to South-East Wales.
“In developing this partnership with the council the Trust wants to continue to build on the excellent work of the staff at the property, and the groups that use it such as the Friends of Dyffryn Gardens. We will continue to work closely with the council and concentrate our energies on making this asset even more special.”
Councillor Neil Moore, Leader of Vale of Glamorgan Council, said: “The transfer of Dyffryn to the National Trust will be a great deal for the Vale. Now the council has restored the site to its current wonderful condition, NT can take this beautiful location to a higher level, drawing in its members from all over the UK. We expect visitor numbers to boom, boosting local tourism hugely.”
The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) awarded the 55-acre Dyffryn Gardens a total of more than £6.15m to restore the Garden’s features and landscapes in 1997 and in March 2011 awarded £600,000 to restore and open up the Grade II* listed House to the public.
Jennifer Stewart, Head of HLF in Wales, said: “The National Trust brings experience, opportunities and benefits to Dyffryn and we are positive this care will have a significant impact in terms of sustainability, on site activities and increasing visitors. We will continue to work closely with the team at Dyffryn House and Gardens and the National Trust to ensure the HLF project continues to be managed effectively.”