WENTWORTH Castle Gardens has taken a step closer to its plans to regenerate the disused Victorian Conservatory thanks to a £2.4m lottery boost.

The Heritage Lottery Fund approved the grant towards the £3.74m cost for the restoration - and staff are now appealing for local help to make up the shortfall.

A spokesman said: "Wentworth's beautiful iron glasshouse is in danger of being lost forever unless we act now, so it has become the main focus of our restoration plans. The building is familiar to many people around the country as one of the "stars" of BBC TV's "Restoration" series, but most don't know that it is still at risk of being lost forever. "The ironwork is very fragile as a result of long-term neglect and only a skeleton or support scaffolding is preventing the conservatory from complete collapse."

Wentworth Castle Gardens has also reached the semi-finals of The National Lottery Awards - it is competing against nine other projects for the title of ‘Best Heritage Project’.

The winner would be in with the chance of appearing on a BBC1 show, as well as receiving a £2,000 cash.

Visit www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk/awards to cast your vote for ‘Wentworth Castle & Stainborough Park’ for free.