Lord Bath has announced that he is stepping down as Chairman of Longleat Enterprises Limited and handing over the reins to his son, Ceawlin, Viscount Weymouth.
Lord Bath broke the news advising “Despite the economic doom and gloom, 2009 was a remarkably good year for both Longleat and Cheddar with visitor numbers on a par with 2008 and turnover up. I feel that now is a good time for me to retire and for my son, Ceawlin, to take over as Chairman of the Company.
“It is the right time for me to retire to my chair and slippers and watch as Ceawlin brings new life into this very special place. I will still be actively involved in some areas of the business and I will still be living in Longleat House. Longleat is very much my home and I’m looking forward to a future where I can sit back and let Ceawlin do the work!”
Ceawlin, Viscount Weymouth responded “It is incredible to think what my father has done for Longleat. We have recently been recognised as one of the top 500 Superbrands in the UK and in fact are the only stately home to have received this accolade. Longleat and Cheddar Caves are amongst the top tourist attractions in the UK and it is my hope that I may follow on in the footsteps of my remarkable father and take both attractions very firmly forward. I would like to give thanks to my father for his love, dedication and sheer hard work over the years. I would also like to thank my mother for all the commitment that she has shown to Longleat House and for the time that she has given to the filming of BBC Animal Park.
“There will be changes and I shall be appointing a new Chief Executive of Longleat Enterprises Ltd later this year. They are challenging times ahead but they will be exciting times and I look forward to working with everyone here to really carry Longleat and Cheddar into the future.”
Lord Bath (Alexander George Thynn), 7th Marquess of Bath, took over the running of Longleat Enterprises Ltd from his father, Lord Henry Bath, in 1992
Viscount Weymouth was born in 1974. Lord Bath will be 78 years old this year
Longleat Enterprises Ltd consists of two attractions – Longleat and Cheddar Caves. In combination visitor numbers stand at over 875, 000 per annum as compared to just over 600, 000 in 1992
Longleat House was the first stately home to open to the public on a fully commercial basis, 1 April 1949. Longleat is probably best recognised for its safari park however – the first outside of Africa – which opened in 1966. Other attractions at Longleat include Safari Boats, Animal Adventure, Hedge Maze, Adventure Castle, Railway and more.
Longleat opens daily from the 27 March to 31 October 2010