Popular historic farm set to reopen after being closed for nearly two years
The future of a Shropshire visitor attraction that's been closed for nearly two years looks to have been secured.
Shropshire Council has handed Acton Scott Historic Working Farm back to the Acton Scott Estate which plans to establish a not-for-profit body and operate a working heritage farm attraction on the site during spring 2024.
The working farm near Church Stretton was closed by the council in the summer of 2021 after it had run it as an attraction, leased from the owners, for 47 years.
Before then thousands of people had visited the popular historical attraction every year with the farm used as the backdrop for the BBC series 'Victorian Farm' filmed there in 2008, bringing it to UK wide attention.
But it was revealed by Shropshire Council that the site had been losing £168,000 a year and, after a public engagement exercise in 2022, it was decided to surrender the lease back to the estate.
Now the estate it looking to re-open the attraction.
A statement on the Acton Scott website said: "The Estate is currently making significant repairs and improvements to the site. A new not-for-profit organisation is being established which plans to operate a working heritage farm attraction on the site in spring 2024."
"We're fixing leaking roofs, woodworm infestations, drainage issues, weeds, asbestos, the blacksmith's forge, the threshing barn floor and much more. We're working as quickly as we can to get the site open to visitors again.
"The Estate has decided to purchase the Dairy Shorthorn Cattle, Shropshire Sheep and poultry from Shropshire Council and then hand them to the new not-for-profit organisation when the time comes. In the meantime, they will be looked after with love and care."
"We are proud to be a Rare Breeds Survival Trust (RBST) accredited farm. This means that we look after and breed animals which are not commonly found in the UK."
It says it is also in the process of signing a loan agreement for the historic machinery which belongs to the council.
Members of the public who would like to get involved in the future of the working farm are being urged to get in touch.
"There is a lot of work to do on the site, from gardening to maintenance. If you are interested in volunteering at Acton Scott Working Farm, or if you have experience which could be useful to the new not-for-profit organisation, do get in touch by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org with a brief description of your interests and skills."