Culture Secretary visits Knebworth House as film crews return to historic home
PUBLISHED: 13:29 26 July 2020 | UPDATED: 09:57 27 July 2020
The Culture Secretary visited Knebworth House to discuss how the Hertfordshire tourist attraction has been affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
MP Oliver Dowden, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, was welcomed to the historic estate on Thursday by managing director Martha Lytton Cobbold and Visit Herts deputy chief executive David Curtis-Brignell.
The trip was designed to see how Knebworth House has coped with the COVID-19 crisis, and how the stately home is now successfully welcoming visitors and film production crews back safely.
As co-chair of Visit Herts and deputy president of Historic Houses, Martha welcomed the opportunity to speak to the Minister about how both organisations have supported their partner attractions and properties.
She said: “I was delighted to meet with the Minister to discuss the effect the pandemic has had on us as a heritage attraction and business, and how we are now moving forward proactively to enable continued safe access, and retain employment and business where possible.
“We are grateful to the DCMS for their support and welcome the opportunity to discuss the ongoing challenges within heritage maintenance and the wedding business.”
As Knebworth Park and Gardens were open to visitors, Mr Dowden was able to see how the estate is managing social distancing and health and safety measures on a sell-out open day.
The Hertsmere MP was pleased to see visitors enjoying the attractions and reconnecting with friends and family in a safe ‘good to go’ open-air environment.
Knebworth House also had a film crew on site, which is the first location booking since reopening.
The government minister was able to see the crew dressing the set while on a tour of the Hertfordshire stately home, and was happy to see the creative arts business returning safely.
Upon arrival, Mr Dowden also viewed the Luna Drive-In Cinema set up, which has been providing movie fans with a chance, every evening, to watch their favourite films in a safe, socially-distanced, drive-in setting since July 5.
He chose Knebworth House as a place of interest due to his close connection with Hertfordshire as MP for Hertsmere, which includes Potters Bar.
The Culture Secretary said: “There are so many ways for visitors to enjoy summer safely at Knebworth House, from taking a socially-distanced tour of the historic site to watching a film under the stars at the Luna Cinema.
“We have worked closely with the screen industry and medical experts during this crisis to develop detailed guidance for filming to restart, and it was brilliant to see preparations in action.”
For more information, visit www.knebworthhouse.com.
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