A RESTORATION project at a historic Worcestershire property has received a major boost with the award of a £1.8 million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Staff and volunteers at Croome, near Upton, are celebrating the award, which will go towards the £6.36 million cost of repairing the property and restoring it to its former glory.

Croome, owned by the National Trust, passed a firstround bid for funding back in 2010 and submitted its decisive second-round bid in June.

After a nervous wait of more than three months, property staff were told of the good news by telephone.

They now plan to push on at full speed with the five-year Croome Redefined project, conducting as much of the restoration work as possible in public in front of visitors to the property.

“The whole team is ecstatic with the news,” said Richard Higgs, senior project manager at Croome. “It means we can share this immense, repair project and show the unique beauty of Croome Court to people forever.”

A fund-raising appeal has raised more than £1 million towards the project while the remaining balance is coming directly from National Trust funds.

With the Heritage Lottery funding approved, the National Trust is planning to recruit new staff and volunteers to work on the project.

It plans to use local, emerging talent to conduct the restoration wherever possible.

“Croome’s magic comes from its visionary 18th century owner, the 6th Earl of Coventry, who saw potential in two emerging talents, the landscape designer ‘Capability’ Brown and architect Robert Adam,” said Mr Higgs.

“We’ve drawn inspiration from this and we’ll develop Croome’s future by building on this legacy, working with new talent to find new and innovative ways of presenting a country mansion house.”

Volunteers, meanwhile, will be recruited during an open afternoon from 4-6.30pm on Tuesday, October 30.