A SHAKE-up of admission charges at Lotherton Hall estate in Aberford is set to go ahead to help fund £160,000 of improvement works to the popular visitor attraction.
The executive board of Leeds City Council backed measures at a meeting on Wednesday which will see the introduction of a single charge for entry to the estate including access to the Edwardian hall and other facilities in the grounds.
At the moment entry to the estate including the bird garden is free but car users are charged a parking fee of £3.70 per vehicle with visitors wishing to enter the hall paying a separate entry fee of £3 for adults and £1 for children.
Under the new measures, which are expected to come into effect on October 1, parking fees will be abolished with adults paying a single fee of £6 and children £2.50 to enter the estate. A family ticket to the estate will cost £15 compared to the £6 charged for entry to the hall at present.
Lotherton Hall estate was owned by the Gasgoigne family until 1968 when Sir Alvary and Lady Gasgoigne gave it to the City of Leeds and now the city council administers the venue.
A report presented to the council’s executive board on Wednesday stated: “Currently there are high numbers of visitors that do not pay for parking and only a limited number of visitors find the hall.
“Through changing to a per person entry charge at Lotherton, to include admission to all facilities, income is projected to increase alongside improvements to the visitor experience.”
Improvements that will get under way following the executive board’s decision include creating more accessible parking, doubling the amount of the estate open to visitors, recreating the Edwardian gardens, Japanese rockery and the walled gardens, better signs, construction of a new access road, and building play equipment and picnic facilities.
Other changes will include opening the hall on Mondays and ending its present policy of closing in January and February.
A consultation on the changes and improvements was launched earlier this year and the executive board asked that the process continue to the end of July before the findings are reported back.
For more information about the consultation, visit the website www.leeds.gov.uk/lothertonhall