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Late Duke of Westminster ‘was determined to do something right for Britain’

Gerald Grosvenor led the initiative for the Defence National Rehabilitation Centre and gave £70 million of his own money.

A determination to do something right for Britain is what motivated the late Duke of Westminster, his son has said.

The Defence National Rehabilitation Centre (DNRC) is based at Stanford Hall, near Loughborough, and was officially handed over to the nation this week.

Aiming to be one of the best in the world, it was an initiative of the late Duke of Westminster who ploughed £70 million of his own money into the £300 million donation-funded project.

Hugh Grosvenor, the seventh Duke of Westminster, took over his family’s billion-pound fortune and estate when his father Gerald died in 2016 after he had a heart attack walking on his Abbeystead Estate.

Speaking to the Telegraph, the 27-year-old said he wishes his father could witness the opening of the new facility – especially after everything he did for it.

“In a sense he will be here, though, looking down and saying, ‘Job well done. Look after those who sacrificed so much’,” he told the newspaper.

“His will and determination to do something right for the country were what always motivated him.

“He believed in taking care of those who fought for Queen and country. As a family, we will ensure that this is done here at the DNRC, and that his aims and objectives live on.”

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The late, 6th Duke of Westminster, Gerald Grosvenor (Grosvenor Estate/PA)

Serving for 40 years in the Army reserves, Hugh said his father, who rose to be a major general, had “such an admiration” for the people he came to know in the military.

The state-of-the-art DNRC facility will provide neurological and complex trauma care and a full suite of rehabilitative facilities on one site when it opens its doors later this year.

It will succeed Surrey’s Headley Court as the country’s leading facility for clinical rehabilitation of injured UK military personnel.

Hugh carried out the duty of handing over the DNRC as a gift to the nation during the ceremony on Thursday, with Prime Minister Theresa May accepting it on the UK’s behalf.

The Grosvenor family’s ancestral home is Eaton Hall at Eccleston, near Chester, and the Duke was also buried in the village.

At the time of his death, the landowner was worth around 10.8 billion US dollars (£8.65 billion) according to Forbes, making him the 68th richest person in the world, and third in the UK.

He owned 190 acres in Belgravia, adjacent to Buckingham Palace and one of London’s most expensive areas, as well as thousands of acres in Scotland and Spain.

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