This article is more than 1 year old

Chester House Estate celebrates first birthday

Culture and tourism

21 October 2022

Chester House with staff in front

There will be celebrations at the Chester House Estate this weekend as the nationally significant heritage site celebrates its first birthday.

Since opening on 23 October 2021, following a £17m National Lottery Heritage Funded project, the Estate has seen over 200,000 visitors through the gates and surpassed all targets.

Over the past year, the team has gone from strength to strength including the recent award successes, growing from 6 up to 19 full time employees and a Royal opening.

Other highlights since the site re-opened include the move of over 17,000 archives into a new store, more than 30 events including at Christmas, Halloween, outdoor music nights, Roman re-enactments, children’s events and craft markets and the opening of two new access bridges to the site.

Following this success, the team are now actively re-investing funds back into the site, with plans for new events equipment and outdoor history interpretation.

What a year we have had!  Since October last year when the site opened to the public we are going from strength to strength.
Alongside the successes on site, it is testament to the quality of work that Historic England have removed the site from their ‘Heritage at Risk Register’, after 10 years on the register. But the growth and hard work doesn’t stop now, with the support of over 200 volunteers, we have big plans to grow the Estate and ensure its future sustainability.

The success over the past year is all thanks to the leadership, the estate team and our amazing volunteers on site, with the continued support from National Heritage Lottery Funding and our partners.
Cllr Helen Howell, Deputy Leader of North Northamptonshire Council and Executive Member for Sport, Leisure, Culture and Tourism
As well as being a historically important site, the Chester House Estate is now part of the local community, with businesses thriving on site and growing. As well as the small businesses who call the Estate home, we are proud to work alongside the Creating Tomorrow Trust and have had over 40 students working on site for the past year, alongside the 1000 school children we have welcomed as part of our growing school visits programme.Cllr Jason Smithers, Leader of the Council

The site was purchased in 2004 and grant funding was secured through The National Lottery Heritage Fund who have worked with NNC to develop a sustainable visitor destination with access for the public to learn about the history and heritage, as well as becoming the location to house countywide archaeological finds.