New lease of life for Ford Castle as deal agreed with adventure sports company

A deal has been agreed which will see Ford Castle coming back into use as a residential centre.
Ford Castle.Ford Castle.
Ford Castle.

The 26-year lease, agreed between outdoor education provider PGL Ltd and the Ford and Etal Estate, will provide young people with an opportunity to learn through adventure in a castle setting.

PGL Ltd will open for business at Ford Castle, which is currently vacant, in summer 2022.

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It has been let by Savills on behalf of the Ford and Etal Estate.

Guy Sampson, associate director at Savills in the North East and agent at Ford and Etal, said: “For 60 years, Ford Castle was leased to Northumberland County Council as a residential and adventure centre for children and it has played an important part in regional society.

"A significant proportion of people in the North-East will have spent a week at the castle in their school years.

“The council withdrew in 2016 and the subsequent occupier was unable to sustain its business as a result of the pandemic, vacating the property in October 2020.

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“We are delighted that, in these challenging times, we have successfully let the castle on a long term lease to a well-established operator who will continue to provide quality outdoor education to children from the North East and the wider UK.

"We are very pleased that the castle is set to continue its long-established role as a residential and adventure centre and we look forward to working with PGL Ltd.”

Anthony Jones, chief executive of PGL, said: “Ford Castle is a brilliant, historic castle set in the most wonderful countryside and community. The centre has provided so many opportunities and adventures for children over the last 60 years and it is great to be able to keep that going.

“In the midst of the pandemic, the outdoors is more important than ever for young people and good quality outdoor learning, and sites like Ford Castle, has a huge role to play. We look forward to welcoming students on to the site next summer.”

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Dating back to around 1278, Ford Castle is a Grade 1 Listed Building and is the principal property of the Ford & Etal Estates, bought by the 1st Lord Joicey in 1907.

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