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Disappointment as reopening of Lion Gates at Belton House in Grantham delayed

Plans to reopen the Lion Gates at Belton House this month have had to be postponed.

The National Trust, which runs the house, says work needed on the gates may not be finished until the middle of August due to delays caused by the pandemic. The gates are located off Belton Lane at the rear of the national Trust property and have afforded free entry for local residents to the estate for decades.

Local residents, who have been walking through the gates to use the gardens for free over many years, were angered when the trust closed them some months ago. The trust said that it was for the safety of its staff and because of vandalism to the grounds.

The gathering outside the Lion Gates at Belton House at the weekend. (48658105)
The gathering outside the Lion Gates at Belton House at the weekend. (48658105)

Ian Cooper, Belton House manager, told the Journal: “The work we are carrying out before we reopen them is the installation of a CCTV system, some signage and to change the controls on the gates so that they meet our insurance criteria and cannot be opened manually.

“Unfortunately there is a delay. As I am sure you will be aware, getting hold of materials and contractors to do anything post lockdown is extremely difficult and it has simply taken us longer to get them lined up to do the work. If it goes ahead as planned they should be open mid August.”

Local resident Deborah Green, who cancelled a protest she organised at the gates after being told they would reopen in July, said: “I cancelled the Lion Gates protest on June 26 in good faith, taking Belton House at their word. I am beginning to think that perhaps I was a little naive.”

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