National Trust moves staff to new Bristol base ahead of sale of historic home

January 8, 2013

The National Trust has relocated a team based at its Eastleigh Court base in Warminster to a new office near Bristol as it pursues plans to sell the 19th century listed building.

The building, pictured right, will remain the home for the Trust's South West Wiltshire Hub in the short term while a permanent office is created nearby.

The Trust ultimately plans to sell the Grade II-listed building which has planning consent for a change of use to return it to residential use.

The move involves staff looking after Trust sites across Gloucestershire and Somerset. Their new base – Leigh Court at Abbotts Leigh between Bristol and the M5 at Portbury – was chosen for its modern office space within easy reach of Bristol and its good road links to National Trust venues in the region.  

But it is just as grand as at Eastleigh Court. The Grade II*-listed Palladian mansion, below, was designed by architect Thomas Hopper and built in 184 for Sir Philip John Miles, a Bristol ship owner, sugar baron and banker said to have been Bristol’s first recorded millionaire.

It has been sympathetically converted to office accommodation and is owned by business support organisation Business West, which provides conference and banqueting facilities, together with serviced office accommodation.

National Trust manager Russell Ashfield said the rented space would give a vibrant base for Trust staff.

“Leigh Court gives us a modern and spacious office for the whole team and manages to combine a modern design in an historic building,” he said.

“Our team provides a range of essential support services to our properties including surveyors, visitor experience and marketing experts. Many live near Bristol and being close to the city but able to easily reach all of our places was seen as essential.”


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