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Gloucestershire Business News

Record investment made by the National Trust

Record numbers of people joining the National Trust has led to more money than ever before being splashed out on conserving and maintaining sites of national importance.

In its annual report for 2018/19, The National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty revealed that £148 million had been spent on conservation and restoration works.

The figures revealed that £10 million more was spent in the last 12 months than in the 2017/18 financial year, equivalent to a boost of funding of £830,000 per month.

The National Trust is a registered charity and membership organisation that looks after 780 miles of coastline, 248,000 hectares of land and more than 500 historic houses, gardens and parks.

The biggest increase in the funds paid by the Trust in 2018/19 came on projects to protect the coast and countryside, with £35,723,000 spent, up by £5million on the previous year.

Close to £105 million was spent on historic houses and collections, an increase of £3million on the previous year while £8 million was spent looking after parks and gardens an increase of £2million.

The increased spend on conservation has been supported by record numbers of visitors and members supporting the Trust.

Membership figures rose by 400,000 in the year, with 5.6million people now active members while there were 26.9million visits made to National Trust properties and places in the year.

Director of support and revenue at the Trust, Sharon Pickford, said: : "These latest figures are not only great news for the National Trust as a charity, but also for the hundreds of special places that we look after.

"Our work to care for these places is only possible through the generosity of our members, visitors, volunteers, funders and donors.

"Without them we simply wouldn't be able to spend record levels on conservation and access work to ensure more people have a great experience when they come to our places.

"This year we welcomed record numbers of visitors, and it is fantastic to see even more people exploring what we have to offer and learn about nature and heritage - especially young people who have been joining us in their tens of thousands.

"However, we aren't complacent and we know there are many more people who may like the opportunity to access and enjoy what we have to offer and we will continue working to provide events and activities which cater for a wide spectrum of the public, while ensuring we look after special places in our care."

The National Trust operate more than 20 sites across Gloucestershire including Haresfield Beacon and Standish Wood, Crickley Hill and Minchinhampton and Rodborough Commons.

Chedworth Roman Villa, Hailes Abbey and Westbury Court Garden are also run by the National Trust.

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