A fond farewell as William Montgomery retires as Chair of the Weston Park Foundation

The Hon. Mrs Rose Paterson is to be the new chair of the Weston Park Foundation Board of Trustees following the retirement of William Montgomery who has held the position since 2001.

The Trustees meeting in June also saw the retirement of Catherine, Lady Forester who has served on the board for 16 years.

The Weston Park Foundation is the independent charitable trust that owns and maintains the Weston Park estate on the Shropshire \ Staffordshire border.

William Montgomery’s legacy includes the restoration of the 1767 Granary building and the Victorian Orangery, the on-going refurbishment of the 28 bedrooms, the landscape management plan in the parkland restoring it to Capability Brown’s original vision and the continued development of the estate into a five-star venue, a home for national outdoor events, a leading visitor attraction and food destination in the region.

William Montgomery reflects on his time as Chair: “The last 14 years have been years of great challenge and satisfaction including the restoration of the historic Capability Brown landscape, together with the Tower and the beautiful Temple of Diana, the creation of the Lady Anne Garden and the restoration of The Garden of Memory.  There has also been the conversion of the historic Granary into a vibrant deli, grill restaurant and art gallery, and the ongoing programme of redecoration of the house and the preservation of its contents.

“I have known and admired Weston for over 40 years, both as a family home and as a magnificent park and landscape.  Being involved has been one of the great privileges of my life.  My fondest memories are of the superb team of people at Weston, without whose skill and enthusiasm the restoration of the house and grounds would not have taken place.

“I would consider my legacy to be the realisation that with the right advisors and the brilliant Weston team, it is possible for such a historic house and collection to survive and prosper in the 21st century.  I wish to thank Lady Forester for her major contribution over the last 16 years.  As the owner of a major house and estate in Shropshire she has brought a depth of knowledge and experience which has been invaluable.

“I am delighted that Rose Paterson is taking over as Chair.  Her knowledge of works of art from her years at Cambridge and Sotheby’s, together with her administrative skills, demonstrated by her years as a director of Aintree Racecourse, and now as chair of that organisation, and her considerable local knowledge, gained in support of her husband’s political career as a Shropshire MP, make her ideally suited to take on the role.”

Colin Sweeney, Chief Executive of the Weston Park Foundation comments: “The Board of Trustees and I wish to thank Bill for his commitment to Weston over the last 14 years.  As CEO I have thoroughly enjoyed working with Bill and am very proud of what we have achieved together and his support and advice over the years have been invaluable.  As Bill hands over the reins to Rose, I am very much looking forward to working together on the exciting projects ahead.”

“I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Catherine, Lady Forester for her unstinting contribution to the work of the Foundation.”

Rose Patterson said: “I would like to pay tribute to Bill’s inspiring leadership of the Weston Park Foundation since 2001.  We have had the benefit, over the past 14 years, of his judgement, knowledge and experience and we owe him a huge debt of gratitude.  During his tenure as Chairman, Weston Park has flourished in every respect and we will greatly miss him, although we hope he will stay closely involved with the Foundation as the inaugural President of the Trustees.”

Rose will continue to focus on maintaining Weston’s position as a luxury venue and destination, the conservation of the internationally acclaimed collection in the House and oversee projects including adding to the existing portfolio of historic luxury holiday lets on the estate and the role that Weston will play in the 300th anniversary celebrations surrounding Capability Brown’s tercentenary in 2016.