Tim­ber pods plan is wed­ding boost for his­toric hall

Macclesfield Express - - BUSINESS - STU­ART GREER

AHISTORIC hall is hop­ing to boost its wed­ding busi­ness to help fund the re­pair of the 18th cen­tury coun­try house.

Capesthorne Hall in Sid­ding­ton is al­ready a pop­u­lar wed­ding venue with its pic­turesque gar­dens and el­e­gant rooms.

But now the es­tate wants to start of­fer­ing ac­com­mo­da­tion for the bridal party and guests.

It is propos­ing to build six tim­ber ‘pods’ in its walled gar­den and change an old pot­ting shed into a com­mu­nal din­ning and kitchen area.

Each pod will have a king-size bed, kitch­enette, seat­ing area and shower room.

The plans also in­clude con­vert the Bothy Cot­tage into the bridal suite and change the South Tower and ad­join­ing Care­taker’s Cot­tage into ac­com­mo­da­tion.

The project could of­fer space for up to 30 peo­ple and would gen­er­ate £1.3 mil­lion in rev­enue over five years.

The de­vel­op­ment will see the de­mo­li­tion of four brick-built green­house bases and raised plant beds in the Walled Gar­den, which are in ‘a di­lap­i­dated state’.

In plan­ning doc­u­ments Ian Stevens from ar­chi­tects Fisher Ger­man said the move would al­low Capesthorne Hall to com­pete in the wed­ding mar­ket and fund works at the hall.

He said: “The de­ci­sion to pro­vide guest ac­com­mo­da­tion has arisen from the ex­ist­ing wed­ding busi­ness and the main­te­nance re­quire­ments of Capesthorne Hall. Vis­i­tor num­bers to Capesthorne Hall have de­clined in re­cent years and it has become nec­es­sary to di­ver­sify and ac­tiv­i­ties at the hall in or­der to sus­tain rev­enue which in turn main­tains the prop­erty and its his­toric fea­tures.

“Wed­dings pro­vide es­sen­tial in­come for the hall to help with the on­go­ing main­te­nance and re­pair of the build­ings. In­come gen­er­ated from wed­dings is in­vested back into the hall an­nu­ally to en­sure that the build­ings are well main­tained.

“The wed­ding busi­ness op­er­ates from the main Hall but does not ben­e­fit from any ac­com­mo­da­tion fa­cil­i­ties for guests.

“Com­pe­ti­tion for wed­dings in the area is very strong and the hall needs to re­main com­pet­i­tive in this mar­ket.

“Due to the lo­cal compe- tition, the wed­ding mar­ket is be­com­ing an in­creas­ingly dif­fi­cult one to op­er­ate in and re­main com­pet­i­tive. In or­der to re­main both prof­itable and suc­cess­ful the es­tate is be­ing forced into ac­tion to en­sure that the busi­ness con­tin­ues.”

Six ac­com­mo­da­tion pods would be built in the Walled Gar­den

Capesthorne Hall

The South Tower

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