A new future for Shugborough

The west front on a misty dawn in June on the Shugborough Estate, Staffordshire.

An agreement has been made to transfer the management of the Shugborough Estate in Staffordshire back to the National Trust.

When Shugborough was given to the National Trust in lieu of death duties in 1966, the Trust leased the estate to Staffordshire County Council for 99 years. In September 2014 the council approached the Trust to begin discussions about surrendering their lease early.

Following a full feasibility study and detailed discussions, it was calculated that it would cost the council £59.9m to continue to manage Shugborough for the remaining 49 year lease. An agreement has now been reached for the council to surrender their lease, at a cost of £20.5m, resulting in a saving of £35m for taxpayers in Staffordshire.

Shugborough will continue to be managed and maintained by Staffordshire County Council until 31 October 2016, though was closed on 30 September to allow the council time to preapre for handover.

On 1 November, management will be handed back to the Trust and the whole estate will close, to allow work to take place. It is expected that Shugborough will reopen in March 2017, as a traditional National Trust property. This means that Trust members will be able to visit Shugborough for free, as they do for the 500 other special places that the National Trust looks after.