Apsley House review recommends management stays with English Heritage - Museums Association

Apsley House review recommends management stays with English Heritage

English Heritage is to continue to manage the 18th-century London property Apsley House, following a Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) review.
Felicity Heywood
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Apsley House, which is open to the paying public and was the former home of first Duke of Wellington, has had a chequered recent history.

English Heritage took over the running of the property in 2004 after the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A), which had administered it since the 1940s, fell out with its residents.

Lord Douro, a descendant of the first Duke of Wellington, still lives at the property. The disagreement was over whether the V&A had the right to use the building for corporate entertaining without the consent of the family.

In 2000 the DCMS considered placing Apsley House under the control of an independent trust, which appeared to be favoured by both parties. But that option was eventually dropped.

When English Heritage took over control in 2004, the DCMS said it would review its success two years later. The review into the running of the property was initiated last year.

Whether the terms under which English Heritage runs the house will change is now being thrashed out. A spokeswoman for English Heritage said the details were still being discussed but declined to add anything further.

A spokesman for the DCMS said: 'The secretary of state has decided that English Heritage will continue to manage Apsley House in the foreseeable future. Discussion with the family will continue to ensure that the management of the house is to everyone's benefit.'

As well as being the current resident of Apsley House, Lord Douro serves as one of the 13 English Heritage commissioners. The commissioners act as the governing body of the organisation and establish its overall strategic direction. He was appointed for a term of four years, which ends in August 2007.

The announcement on Apsley House's future is expected soon.

Felicity Heywood

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