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Heveningham Hall

Volume 12: debated on Wednesday 11 November 1981

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asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement on the progress of the sale of Heveningham Hall.

Last year I announced my decision to sell Heveningham Hall and its estate into private ownership, provided a suitable owner could be found. I said then that my inclination was to sell the freehold of the house and the estate, but to retain ownership of the furniture and seek the agreement of a new owner to keeping it in its setting and allowing some public access.I have now completed the arrangements for sale of the hall along these lines. I am pleased to announce that the new owner, Mr. A. A. Al-Ghazzi, has indicated his intentions to rehabilitate the hall, complete the restoration of the orangery and continue the landscaping of the park. He has covenanted to permit public access on at least 30 days per annum to the principal ground floor rooms of the hall, where he will display the important furniture which remains in the ownership of the Department. The hall will be open to the public again from next year.

The hall and the estate have been sold for £726,000. I announced last year that the sale proceeds would be allocated to heritage expenditure, and I can now confirm that the net receipts from the sale will be made available to the trustees of the National Heritage Memorial Fund.