A HUGELY popular Lake District tourist attraction will boast new facilities when it reopens next month.

Rydal Mount, near Ambleside, is where poet William Wordsworth spent the latter half of his life.

The site was awarded £31,330 in the latest round of the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund.

The money is being used to make a number of improvements at Rydal Mount ahead of its scheduled reopening on May 17, including to access and ventilation.

New tables and seating will be installed in the tearoom and will extend on to the forecourt of the house.

And, throughout the house, there will be recordings of members of the Wordsworth family reading some of the best-loved poems.

Christopher Wordsworth Andrew, the great-great-great-great-grandson of William Wordsworth, said: “We are thrilled to receive this grant from the Culture Recovery Fund, which recognises the place of Rydal Mount in our nation’s heritage.

“We were genuinely worried about our ability to reopen the house, and this grant not only makes this possible, but gives the family and everyone working at Rydal Mount a well-needed shot of optimism.”

New exhibits that the public will be able to enjoy include two portraits of the poet which have been unearthed after not being seen for generations.

One of these, by Samuel Crosthwaite, is the last-known portrait done of Wordsworth during his lifetime.

A spokesman for Rydal Mount said the painting showed him as ‘a wild old poet at the end of his life, rather than the more familiar image as a traditional pillar of Victorian society’.

The Wordsworth family, who own the house, have plans to host a series of events throughout the spring and the rest of the year.

The events will include guided tours, poetry readings, dinners and an art fair.