Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Keen Support Hits Its Target; 'Most Exciting Appeal I've Worked On'

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Keen Support Hits Its Target; 'Most Exciting Appeal I've Worked On'

Article excerpt

Byline: Tony Henderson Environment Editor

SPIRITED public support for the campaign to save Seaton Delaval Hall has paid off as the National Trust announces today that it has hit a key funding target.

Four months into its drive to acquire the 18th Century Northumberland mansion, the goal of raising pounds 2m from the public has been met. Of the pounds 2m, pounds 700,000 was raised in the North East.

The trust praised the ingenuity of local people who raised cash in a variety of imaginative ways - and urged them to continue. Communications officer Sadie Parker said: "Reaching the pounds 2m target is fantastic, considering the current economic climate. We couldn't have done that without the support of The Journal, who we thank wholeheartedly for backing our campaign.

"We share many of the same ideals in terms of caring for and promoting our regional heritage. Without a doubt The Journal has kept up the momentum and profile of the campaign to save Seaton Delaval Hall in the region."

The festive period saw a surge in donations as people rallied to save one of the region's most cherished historic sites.

To hit the pounds 6.3m target, the trust hoped pounds 2m would come from the public and the rest from public sector contributions.

Hitting the pounds 2m will help the region make its case this month to the National Trust Board of Trustees, who must decide whether the acquisition will go ahead.

It is hoped the other pounds 4.3m will be raised through owner Lord Hastings being able to gift part of the property in lieu of inheritance tax, and from grant-making bodies. The Reed Foundation has given pounds 100,000 and the Barbour Trust has pledged a major donation. Trust area manager Liz Fisher said: "It's a great moment for the appeal. We've not had an easy ride over the last few months - the economic downturn has made everyone think twice before parting with their cash - but I think this goes to show that a good cause can still conjure up great generosity.

"However, we must not get complacent, as every additional penny from this point onwards will help us convince the public sector that the nation shares our enthusiasm for Seaton Delaval Hall. …

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