THE CHESTER HOUSE ESTATE CELEBRATES A SUCCESSFUL OPENING
After reopening its doors to the public in October 2021, The Chester House Estate has exceeded all expectations by welcoming thousands of visitors and hosting a sold-out Christmas event.
On the cusp of 2022, The Chester House Estate is looking back over the past 12 months and celebrating a very successful year since the historic venue was rebranded and renovation plans were set in motion.
Over the course of 10-months, the 17th Century Grade II listed farmhouse and its grounds were successfully remodelled, restored and updated while carefully protecting its original features thanks to funding from North Northamptonshire Council and The National Lottery Heritage Fund. The project also saw the addition of an onsite restaurant, a two-bedroom bed and breakfast and several unique retail spaces where local artisans can offer their wares.
Since opening its doors to the public on October 23rd 2021, The Chester House Estate has enjoyed an incredibly successful two months that surpassed even its dedicated team’s expectations. Between launch day and November 30th 2021 over 24,000 visitors came to explore the national heritage venue and its offering, generating an income that exceeded the initial budget plans by 20 per cent.
Part of this incredible figure includes the 600 visitors who toured the onsite Archaeological Research Centre (ARC) in its opening week, with the educational hub inviting guests to explore one of the largest archeological archiving centres in the UK and connect to their heritage three times a week.
The three seasonal events that were hosted between October and the end of December 2021 were also wildly successful. The Halloween Pumpkin Patch saw more than 4,000 Jack O’Lanterns being picked and carved by enthusiastic participants, while the Father Christmas Experience sold out all of its weekends. The popular Christmas Fair also sold out completely, welcoming an impressive 2,000 people each day.
All of the hard-working Chester House Estate team’s combined efforts resulted in the venue reaching the final in the Northamptonshire Business Awards, being recognised for their pioneering business plan and implementation.
Chester House Estate manager Jack Pishhorn stressed the importance of the support the project has received from the over 200 volunteers that have signed up to be involved in various different capacities across the site.
He says, “A huge thank you has to go to our fantastic volunteers, who help to support the whole operation and make it sustainable. They have been doing everything from manning the café to playing a Christmas elf, supporting our learning programmes and keeping the site well presented. We couldn’t do it without them.”
Looking towards 2022, there are many more plans in the pipeline waiting to be activated over the coming months. They include the opening of the Farmhouse Apartment Bed & Breakfast facilities and introducing The Chester House Estate as a wedding venue from February 1st 2022 onwards.
Cllr Helen Howell, Deputy Leader of North Northamptonshire Council and Executive member for Sport, Leisure, Culture and Tourism said: “We are thrilled with how warmly everyone has embraced the Chester House Estate and all it has to offer, This is only the beginning, we have had a very positive start, and now we are looking forward to 2022 when we will be offering an even bigger range of facilities and events. Chester House Estate really is an amazing venue so if you have not already visited, put a date in your diary for 2022, we have a fantastic team waiting to welcome you“
Cllr Jason Smithers, Leader of NNC, added: “As we come to the end of 2021 and look towards 2022, we would like to thank all of our visitors for their support, feedback and generous donations. It really has been an excellent start to the next chapter of the Chester House Estate.”
For more information and to find out what’s on at The Chester House Estate visit www.chesterhouseestate.org