The Trentham Estate has rounded off a successful 2009 with record visitor levels and annual tickets sales; improved turnover across the Garden Centre & Shopping Village and is looking forward to 2010.
The Trentham Estate has enticed many new and returning visitors throughout 2009 with the combined Italian Gardens and Lake, new attractions, seasonal events and the ever popular Garden Centre and Shopping Village all helping to widen the appeal of this very popular tourist destination, a significant achievement in a difficult economic climate.
The key achievements in 2009 (for the year to 30th November) include:
• Double the number of paid visitors to the famous Italian Gardens and Lake; 216,000 visitors, compared with 108,000 in 2008.
• 4,660 annual tickets sold (1,400 in 2008).
• 83,000 repeat visits by annual ticket holders (an average of almost 18 times per ticket) c/w 23,000 repeat visits in 2008.
• More than 70,000 people attracted to events in the Gardens at Trentham, in addition to paid entrants.
• Increased turnover (average 5%) across the Shopping Village and Garden Centre.
• Successful opening of the new Italian Garden Tearoom.
Commenting on a successful year, Mike Herbert Regional Director for St. Modwen and Director of Trentham said: “The Trentham Estate has had a bumper year, doubling visitors to the Gardens and a very strong performance across the whole range of the attractions at Trentham. The Garden Centre and Shopping Village have been very resilient to the current economic climate, showing an overall increase in turnover in the past twelve months.
“The unique combination of a major tourist attraction comprising a major Garden Centre and Shopping Village supporting the fabulous Gardens, Lake and Parkland; a wide range of events and attractions such as the unique Monkey Forest have shown that it is genuinely a destination that appeals to a wide audience across a very wide area. The Shopping Village provides a popular range of tourist and leisure shopping which has been clearly recognised by major new brands that have moved into Trentham during this year such as L’Occitane and Trespass Clothing and we have continued to maintain a very low vacancy rate.
“Combining the beautifully restored Gardens with the Lake at the beginning of the season, coupled with a real focus on ensuring that the Gardens appeal to all families and all ages, has shown the strength of the attraction and doubling the number of paid visitors is proof of the real benefit of this action. The public has also recognised that the annual tickets offer excellent value for money and the number of times that each ticket is used on average is quite remarkable. The new Italian Garden Tearoom has proved to be a very popular new addition within the Gardens and a recent change of the catering operator in the Tearoom has already significantly improved its appeal.
“Overall it has been a fantastic year for the Trentham Estate and we are looking forward to a very successful 2010.
“2010 will be a period of continued promotion and improvement of the whole of the Trentham Estate. Within the Gardens, the focus for new attractions will be within the Western Pleasure Grounds (around the new Tearoom) with two new show gardens being created plus a Japanese English Garden and we are planning to create a demonstration allotment. Over 40,000 bulbs have been planted around the Gardens this autumn to improve the spring displays and there has been a programme to plant about 100 new trees around the western side of the Gardens and Lake.
“The usual process of the maintenance and improvement of all the planted areas is ongoing through the winter with significant restocking of the perennial planting. It is also intended to extend the temporary sculpture exhibition “Carbon Rapture”, which has proved so popular since October, until the end of August.
“Work has already commenced in improving the areas on the eastern side of the Lake around the former boathouse, particularly opening up and improving the pathway between the main Gardens and the boathouse area which is the base for the passenger boat and train.
“Activities for all the family will be continued and expanded. The highly successful Bush Craft activities for children, based on The Dangerous Book For Boys, has a full programme throughout the summer season.
“The Garden Centre and Shopping Village will continue to be very popular offering, as they do, a wide range of leisure and shopping choices.
“Elsewhere on the Estate, the Trentham Monkey Forest will reopen on 13th February for half term and the Aerial Extreme ropes course reopens on 17th January. The public walkways around the woodland remain open throughout the year.
“All in all the Trentham Estate has now firmly established itself as one of the UK’s top tourist and leisure destinations and is undoubtedly proving to be a significant boost to the North Staffordshire economy.”