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The Trentham Estate is celebrating yet another year of success in 2014, which culminated in more than half a million visitors passing through the gates of the gardens

Recently announced figures show that paid-entry visits into the Gardens rose by nearly 12% for the whole of 2014 to a record breaking total of 480,000, and easily beating the previous record set in 2013, of 430,000.

Attendances for events staged in the gardens during 2014 not only attracted a further 52,000 visitors, but also meant that for the first time since St. Modwen, who own and manage Trentham Gardens, re-opened the gates to the public in 2004, the footfall into the gardens tipped over the half million mark.

Sales of annual tickets to the gardens also rose during 2014, by 13% over the total number sold in 2013. 

Elsewhere on the Estate, 2014 proved to be Trentham Shopping Village’s best ever trading year.  All outlets in the Village remained fully occupied throughout the 12 months; and while the Outdoor and Country clothing store became the latest draw for shoppers, Nature’s Purest, Shuropody and The Cheese & Wine Emporium all expanded their own outlets during the year.

2015 has already started with news that BBC TV’s Antiques Roadshow will be filmed in Trentham Gardens in September, and major restaurant chain, The Restaurant Group, has committed to a new restaurant to be built in the Shopping Village, once planning consent has been granted.

Mike Herbert, Director of The Trentham Estate said: “No-one will be surprised to hear that we are thrilled by these results, and it couldn’t have been more fitting considering that last year we celebrated the 10th anniversary of re-opening the gardens to the public once again, after a long period of decline and dereliction.

“We estimate that more than 3.2 million people now visit The Trentham Estate each year, and the introduction of the new restaurant, coupled to creating 300 new parking spaces will continue to increase the attraction of Trentham, further boosting Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire’s economy.”

Highlights of the 10th anniversary included:

  • The introduction of Wishes, the first “life-sized” sculpture on The Fairy Trail at Trentham;
  • A Highly Commended award in the national VisitEngland annual awards for Excellence in Tourism;
  • The start of a major parkland restoration project in time for the 2016 celebration of the 300thanniversary of the birth of Lancelot “Capability” Brown, who was instrumental in the design of the lake and parkland in the 18th century;
  • Crowning 2014 was the Gardens being included in the shortlist for the national Countryfile UK Garden of the Year award.

Owned for over 400 years by the Dukes of Sutherland, the 725-acre estate on the edge of Stoke-on-Trent in Staffordshire, had fallen into a state of dereliction at the end of the last century, when the UK’s leading regeneration specialist, St. Modwen, stepped-in to revive the sleeping giant.

Subsequently re-opened to the public in May 2004, along with a lifestyle Garden Centre and Shopping Village, its flagship attraction the restored Trentham Gardens, have in just 10 years, muscled their way into the top five most popular garden attractions in the UK (and the fourth most-visited paid-entry garden in the country).

Now firmly established as one of the top attractions in the Midlands, the Staffordshire-based Estate manages to combine award-winning world-class gardens and a full “village” of shops and restaurants, with the UK’s only Monkey Forest and a range of other outdoor activities; from a barefoot trail for all the family, to Aerial Extreme for the more adventurous.