Driffield News

Exciting times as stately home takes on huge renovation project

A huge project to transform some of the buildings at Sledmere House is underway as the stately home responds to ever-increasing visitor numbers and continues to broaden and expand the range of experiences and facilities.

Construction work on the project has already commenced and the end result will see a complete refurbishment of Sledmere’s Coach House Cafe and new kitchen and toilet facilities as well as the creation of four multi-purpose event rooms.

The project will also open up new job vacancies across the site while customers will be able to purchase their tickets upon arrival from a new state-of-the-art visitors reception area.

Making increased use of the stable block first floor has been under consideration for a number of years but with annual visitor figures increasing year-on-year and lots more families coming through the gates, the decision to make the changes seems to have arrived at the right time.

The first phase of the project will be part-funded by the Rural Development Programme for England and is expected to be finished by May, with the remainder scheduled to be completed during winter 2020.

Lauren Fenwick, PR and marketing coordinator at Sledmere House, told the Wolds Weekly that Sledmere House can often seem full to capacity when popular events are taking place, therefore the building project will be hugely beneficial.

“We’ve decided to expand as, capacity-wise, we’re at full stretch,” said Lauren. “Once upon a time, people came to Sledmere primarily to visit the house and the gardens, but now we welcome visitors of all ages to our farm park, popular events as well as many walkers and cyclists.

“We often have issues with pushchairs and the renovation will give us more room for manoeuvre, as on some event days it can be a little bit crazy.

“We’ve been given a grant by the Rural Development Programme for England to help fund the project and its impact will mean a much enlarged cafe, improved wcs, including disabled, and a new space where we can welcome visitors properly

Excited about the future is Sledmere House’s PR and marketing coordinator, Lauren Fenwick.

“With the kitchen increasing in size, it means we’ll need some more staff, so it will bring job opportunities to the area.

“It will also help maintain the building. It’s a Listed building so we have had to jump through a substantial number of hoops before we got the go-ahead.

“Phase one, which will see the provision of the function rooms, toilets and visitors reception, should be completed by the end of May.

“In terms of the overall finishing date, we haven’t set anything in stone as there are some details that need to be resolved and finalised but we’re hoping it will be around Christmas.”

Sledmere House’s PR and marketing coordinator, Lauren Fenwick with Jayne Robinson, Cafe and Farm Shop Manager at Sledmere House.

The event and meeting rooms will be available for the general public and businesses to hire and will be an overflow for the cafe, which is also going to be linked to the stately home’s farm shop for the first time.

“The four meeting rooms will be upstairs and are planned to cater for conferences, parties, meetings, guided tours, weddings, christenings and funerals,” added Jayne Robinson, Cafe and Farm Shop Manager at Sledmere House.

“The event rooms will give the chance to branch out into evening functions and children’s parties.

“Businesses will be able to hire the rooms and the layout will be flexible with catering provided by the farm shop and cafe.

“It will also act as an overflow for the cafe at busy times. There will be completely new toilets and a lift to ensure the rooms are fully accessible for everyone.

“It’s an exciting time and we’re delighted we can share the news with everyone.”

The new event and meeting rooms will be available for the general public and businesses to hire and will be an overflow for the cafe, which is also going to be linked to the stately home’s popular farm shop for the first time.

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