A tea room could be opened at a National Trust property in an attempt to reduce losses incurred from running the site.
Bosses at Lyveden New Bield, near Oundle, have unveiled plans to convert nearby Lyveden Cottage into a tea room and its garden into a tea room and garden.
Althought the operation would not help bosses reach the running cost of the property, it would raise income and reduce losses. Each year the property, despite attracting 18,000 visitors, has to rely on financial support from the National Trust.
The property has recently spent £60,000 on a range of projects. This has included £10,000 on a conservation plan, £10,000 on hedge rebuilding and woodland management, £30,000 on moat silting and £10,000 on archaeological work.
A National Trust spokesman said: “National Trust has applied for planning permission to change part of a residential cottage into a tea room at Lyveden New Bield.
“The aim is to improve the facilities on offer for visitors.
“Profits from the tea room will help to maintain this valuable property.
“The National Trust is a charity which works to preserve places of national importance.
“It is not funded in the same way as a commercial enterprise and relies on donations and membership fees to support its historic properties.”
No objections have been made to the planning application by either English Heritage or Northamptonshire County Council.
Brigstock Parish Council has also raised no opposition to the proposal.
Lyveden New Bield is a Grade I listed building which is a Tudor garden lodge steeped in Catholic symbolism.
It was left unfinished in 1605 when its creator Sir Thomas Tresham died and his son became embroiled in the Gunpowder Plot.
It has also been in the news recently in connection with a planned wind farm at Barnwell Manor.
West Coast Energy has appealed against East Northamptonshire Council’s decision to refuse the proposal for four 415ft turbines on the 143-hectare area of land.
An inquiry, which included submissions from the National Trust, has taken place and a decision is expected in the new year.