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Page last updated at 06:56 GMT, Wednesday, 6 May 2009 07:56 UK
Tyntesfield gets new learning hub
Tyntesfield House
Tyntesfield is one of the best Victorian private houses to have survived intact

A new learning centre will officially open in Tyntesfield House, near Wraxall in North Somerset, on Thursday.

The Sawmill Learning Centre will be a multi-purpose space in the heart of the National Trust estate.

The new site will give people the chance to take part in a range of learning and educational activities.

Tyntesfield's Helen Bonser-Wilton said: "The completion of the Sawmill project marks a major step in the transformation of Tyntesfield."

Helen added: "This facility is invaluable to our work with schools and will enable us to expand the opportunities for learning and training for so many people.

"It's really going to be the hub of activity on the estate and it's great to see it coming back to life."

Built in 1889, the building was the former power house of the estate - previously home to powerful steam engines and batteries which provided electricity for the house and later a sawmill.

As the major funder of the Tyntesfield project, Dame Jenny Abramsky, Chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund, will be officially opening the Sawmill and joining Tyntesfield in their celebrations.

Accumulator House
A rather run-down Accumulator House before the renovations

Dame Abramsky said: "I am a passionate advocate for ensuring traditional skills are passed from one generation to the next.

"This historic building, brimming with Victorian character, is now opening its doors for the first time as a centre of educational excellence which will benefit people of all ages.

"The National Trust's work at Tyntesfield is both forward-thinking and innovative and I am delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund is playing an important role in supporting it."

Other funders of the sawmill project include the Medlock Charitable Trust, Rural Renaissance and the Stavros Niarchos Foundation.

The Ernest Cook Trust have also played an important role in supporting Tyntesfield's education programme.

The new centre opens on Thursday, 7 May 2009. Tyntesfield is open Saturday - Wednesday - for further information check out the National Trust website or call 01275 461900.

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