Stanford Hall

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Stanford Hall

Post by Grizzly on Mon Jan 02 2012, 18:52

Looks like the VW show at Stanford Hall's days are numbered . . . all for a great cause though.

Britain's wealthiest landowner, the
Duke of Westminster, is to donate a country pile to the nation that will
become a treatment centre for wounded soldiers and civilians.
Grade
II-listed Stanford Hall, in Leicestershire, is to get a £300million
conversion that will see it become Britain's largest rehabilitation
complex, according to the Sunday Times.
The
35-bedroom estate, which changed hands for £6.25m in 2007, has 354
acres, making it four times the size of the army's main centre for war
wounded, Headley Court, in Surrey.




Country pile: Stanford Hall, in Leicestershire,
is set to undergo a £300m conversion into a ehabilitation centre for
wounded soldiers and civilians


The new centre is due to open in six years' time.

Although British forces have left Iraq and are due to depart from Afghanistan by the end of
2014, the numbers of war wounded will remain high and their long-term
car needs will need to be catered for.
Advances
in medicine mean that many soldiers, who in previous generations would
have died, survive despite suffering severe injuries.

Around 800 troops were admitted to Headly Court during 2011, up from 640 in 2010 and just 163 the year before.
The 60-year-old Duke, who owns large parts of central London, is Britain's
most senior Territorial Army officer with the rank of major-general. He
joined in 1970 and has taken a huge interest in the military. Last month
he proposed renaming the TA the British Army Reserves.



Donation: The Duke of Westminster is the most
senior officer in the Territorial Army and has a taken a huge interest
in the military over the past 40 years


As well as buying the hall, the Duke,
whose personal fortune is estimated to be £7bn, will make a
'substantial donation' to the renovation costs. The Help for Heroes
charity and the Royal British Legion are also expected to donate large
sums towards the new centre.

Philip
Raffaelli, the MoD's surgeon general, told the Sunday Times the centre
would also be used by civilians, preparing them for a return to work.
'It is a very exciting opportunity,' he added.
Stanford
Hall would be following in the footsteps of other grand residences used
as military hospitals during times of conflict. In World War I
Brighton's Royal Pavilion served as an infirmary for wounded Indian
troops.
And recently, this
secret history of many stately homes was played out on national
television when Downton Abbey, in the ITV drama of the same name, was
turned into a hospital for soldiers wounded in the First World War.

Stanford
Hall was built in the late 18th century for Charles Vere Dashwood, the
high sheriff of Nottingham. In 1928 Julien Cahn, the head of the
Nottingham Furnishing Company, bought the hall for £70,000. He made it
one of the great country houses of the era, attracting guests with
lavish social occasions. When he died in 1944 his widow was forced to
the property to pay for high death duties.



Vital role: Headley Court is currently Britain's
main centre for the treatment of injured soldiers but there is little
room for expansion, unlike at Stanford Hall, which is four times the
size


Property tycoon Chek Whyte bought
Stanford Hall in 2007 but two years ago Whyte, who had appeared in the
ITV show Secret Millionaire, was declared bankrupt.
'Stanford
Hall would be an ideal location for such a prestigious project,' Jim
Rowland, chairman of the local British Legion, told the Sunday Times.
'The duke should be commended for his actions.'

While
Frances McKim, from the Stanford-on-Soar parish council, said locals
were delighted and added that the plans were so much better than other
proposals put forward for the hall.
Local residents are set to meet the duke later this month to discuss the project.

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