|Dominic Hare - Chief Executive of Blenheim Palace|
The CEO of Blenheim Palace has unveiled a hugely ambitious 10-year development programme which will revolutionise virtually every aspect of the Oxfordshire World Heritage Site.
The programme, which is being led by CEO Dominic Hare, includes tripling the Estate’s contribution to the local economy, housing 300 families in high quality affordable housing, completing a £40m restoration programme and becoming a net generator of green energy over the next 10 years.
Other goals will see more than 100 apprentices trained, a doubling of Blenheim Palace’s charitable impact on the local community, and the re-purchasing of key historical artefacts which have been lost from the old collection over generations.
'The 10-year plan is a joint initiative devised in consultation with the management team, trustees and the Duke. It underpins everything we are doing here at Blenheim Palace and involves everybody and every area of the Estate,' said Dominic.
'We believe there is no possible vision for a future successful and flourishing Blenheim which does not depend on a flourishing and successful set of communities around it – and the same is true in reverse.
'We have set an ambition to be the economic lifeblood of the area, to enhance the lives of the people in our communities and to sustain, grow and share the precious resources of the Estate, the Park and the Palace,' he added.
Mr Hare also wants the Estate to be rated among the top 100 employers in the country and to achieve annual paying visitor numbers in excess of 750,000.
'It is a huge undertaking but I have been delighted and immensely encouraged by the positive reaction from staff and people within the local community.
'We are an enterprise with a centuries-old tradition of inventiveness, imagination, and boldness. We believe, today, we must continue to marry the decisiveness to act boldly, with a considered and long-term view of prosperity – for Blenheim and for the communities we support and who support us.
'This is a vision that is being shaped by the contributions of our neighbours, so that it serves us all for generations to come.' he added.
Among key projects already achieved this year are the restoration of the Palace’s North Steps, the completion of 27 homes and 10,000 sq ft of new office space in Bladon (the latter supporting 40 jobs new to the area), the appointment of a new sustainability advisor and the strengthening of the Human Resource team.
Blenheim Palace has also received nearly £200,000 via Gift Aid since placing its visitor attraction business into a charity. This guarantees the money raised is ring-fenced and can only be spent on sharing and conserving the Palace and Park.
Blenheim Palace is also currently working on a series of renovation and restoration projects with local churches, supporting a range of locally-based charities, working closely with local suppliers and providers as well as developing a range of new opportunities and benefits for its employees; which include free breakfast, yoga, tai-chi and foreign language classes.