Visitors can once again enjoy a trip to a North East historic house after it reopened to the public thanks to funding received during lockdown.
Earlier this year Ushaw Historic House, Chapel and Gardens, near Durham, was forced to close due to the lockdown measures that were put in place to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.
The historic estate, which has enjoyed a steady growth in visitors since it reopened as a tourist attraction in 2014, suspended all activities during this time and estimated a loss of £45,000 per month.
As part of Durham County Council’s coronavirus support fund, which has been allocated among its 14 Area Action Partnerships (AAPs) to award to organisations in each area, Mid Durham AAP supported Ushaw during its closure by providing it with £10,000 towards essential running costs.
An extra donation of over £5,400 was also raised by members of the public who were eager for the doors of Ushaw to reopen when restrictions eased.
Prior to closure, the historic estate, which dates back more than 200 years and features close to 550 acres of gardens and woodland, was aiming to open to the public seven days a week.
The funding awarded to Ushaw has meant the estate has been able to reopen to public with safe social distancing measures in place.
Peter Seed, director of operations at Ushaw, said “We are very grateful for the support of Mid Durham AAP during this challenging time when we were not able to welcome visitors to Ushaw’s stunning buildings. They have contributed to the ongoing growth of Ushaw since we opened as a visitor attraction and we hope that we can work together to provide community activities as we all recover from this pandemic.”
Derek Snaith, Mid Durham AAP coordinator, said “This is one of our biggest awards which matches the size and nature of Ushaw and the variety of incredible work undertaken there. Ushaw is a key facility for our local community and the broader region, and we were keen for it to come out the other end of this crisis strong.”
For more information about Ushaw Historic House, Chapel and Gardens, visit www.ushaw.org
Information about Mid Durham AAP and its services can be found at www.durham.gov.uk/aaps