Staff at Gainsborough Old Hall could face an uncertain future as it will not reopen until at least summer 2021.
The 15th century manor house, which is over 500 years old, has been run by Lincolnshire County Council under its current arrangement since 1995, but last year it advised English Heritage it did not wish to continue running the hall.
English Heritage will take over the management of the medieval manor house located on Parnell Street from November 1, but it will remain closed until next summer and the charity “will not be able to offer any employment on site” during this time.
This raises questions as to what will happen with the hall’s current staff, but the county council said it will continue to work with English Heritage to understand the implications the delayed reopening date will have.
English Heritage’s Territory Director for the North, Andrea Selley said: “Like so many charities, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been significant for English Heritage.
“Gainsborough Old Hall is one of more than 400 historic sites in our care, and we remain completely committed to the protection of each and every one.
“However, in light of the ongoing pandemic, we do now have to revise our plans for the immediate future at Gainsborough Old Hall.
“For this reason, we have taken the difficult decision that the Old Hall will not reopen until at least summer 2021.
“We deeply regret that during this time English Heritage will not be able to offer any employment on site.
“We’d like to reassure everyone who loves the site, that our commitment to Gainsborough with the Old Hall at its heart is unwavering.
“It may take a bit longer than we’d hoped, but we will ensure that over the coming months and years we work with the community to create a bright future in the town for this historic gem.”
Will Mason, head of heritage and culture at Lincolnshire County Council, added: “We are, of course, disappointed that due to COVID the opening date has been pushed back, and continue to work with English Heritage to understand the implications this will have.
“We are now closely working with the affected staff, and will ensure they are well supported through the coming months.”
Gainsborough Old Hall is one of four of Lincolnshire County Council’s heritage sites that remains closed. The other three are the Museum of Lincolnshire Life and the Usher Gallery in Lincoln, and Discover Stamford.