`

ROTHERHAM ROARS: Julie Kenny leading the way to restoration success at Wentworth Woodhouse

Julie Kenny at Wentworth Woodhouse.
Julie Kenny at Wentworth Woodhouse.

If anyone can turn Wentworth Woodhouse into a successful tourist attraction it’s Julie Kenny.

A doyenne of business, charity and government in Rotherham, her track record is peerless.

Julie Kenny won a special  recognition judges' award for outstanding entrepreneurship at the Northern Power Women Awards 2018

Julie Kenny won a special recognition judges' award for outstanding entrepreneurship at the Northern Power Women Awards 2018

But it will take all her effort and influence to restore the 365-room Grade I listed mansion and its gardens - at an estimated cost of £200 million - and open it to the public.

This story features in Rotherham Roars, The Star’s celebration of the borough’s booming economy, published Wednesday March 28.

ROTHERHAM ROARS IS ONLINE HERE

As chair of Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust, she had an early win when Chancellor Philip Hammond made a £7 million grant. It will pay to replace four acres of 300-year-old roof tiles. Further weatherproofing will follow before restoration can start.

But Julie is undaunted.

She said: “We are masterplanning at the moment, 
we’ve been to other houses and estates and visitor attractions. I have been blown away that, even though some are competitors, they want us to succeed. They’ve been really open and want to share.

We’re now starting on restoration and launching a sponsor-a-slate event in April to replace slates for the next 300 years.”

Wentworth has a very 
small team of 15 people, but 100 willing volunteers, she added.

A plan would see it become a visitor attraction, business centre and events space, with the possibility of housing.

Julie Kenny CBE founded security system manufacturer Pyronix which had a £25 million turnover when she sold it in 2016.

She is a government-appointed commissioner to Rotherham Borough Council, a 
member of the LEP and a former High Sheriff of South Yorkshire.

This story features in Rotherham Roars, The Star’s celebration of the borough’s booming economy, published Wednesday March 28.

ROTHERHAM ROARS IS ONLINE HERE