Blenheim Palace has been granted charitable status, it has been announced.
A statement from the palace, which is situated in Woodstock, Oxfordshire, said this would allow it to carry out critical restoration and conservation work because it will have access to Gift Aid and be able to apply for grants to support its work.
According to the Charity Commission’s online register, the palace was registered as a charity in March as the Blenheim Heritage Foundation with objects including restoring and preserving the site for the public benefit and promoting the study and appreciation of Blenheim as a place of historical and architectural interest.
The palace, which is a Unesco world heritage site, was built in the 18th century and was the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill.
Dominic Hare, chief executive of Blenheim Palace, said: "The palace is an extraordinary example of grand 18th-century architecture. However, both the fabric of the building and its priceless contents are in need of constant care and attention to help protect and preserve them for generations to enjoy.
"At the moment we are undertaking a £350,000 programme of restoration on the historic North Step entrance to the palace, and this is just a small part of the annual investment required to maintain both the palace itself and more than 2,000 acres of parkland.
"By establishing ourselves as a charitable organisation we are hopeful we can provide the security to safeguard this globally important heritage site for the future."