Page last updated at 10:23 GMT, Thursday, 20 March 2008

Council seeks Newstead Abbey partners

Newstead Abbey
The Abbey is very expensive to run

Nottingham City Council is trying to find new ways of funding much-needed repairs to Newstead Abbey.

The 12th Century former home of poet Lord Byron needs a new boiler, wiring and some structural repairs.

The building and grounds are currently owned by Nottingham City Council and maintained through council tax.

Nottingham City Council's Peter Milton said Newstead was "very, very expensive" to run and partners were being sought to help rebuild the Abbey.

'Ambitious plans'

"The running costs are extremely high, it's no different to any other owner of a large, historic house.

"We've got very ambitious plans to develop it as a better, major attraction and really tell the story of Lord Byron.

"But the Abbey is funded by the ratepayers and as part of the development process, we have to review all aspects of its management.

"What we're looking to do is construct a development plan where we can bring partners in because a lot of the regeneration that would arise as a result of the development would be of benefit to north Nottinghamshire and not directly for the city of Nottingham."

In 2004 Newstead Abbey failed to gain a place in the final of the BBC's Restoration series. The winner received a £2.5m Heritage Lottery grant to pay for repairs.

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