National Trust site set for £350k revamp
PUBLISHED: 06:58 10 January 2019 | UPDATED: 09:51 10 January 2019
One of North Somerset's most popular attractions could be set for a £350,000 makeover.
Tyntesfield House in Wraxall has applied to North Somerset Council to build new entrance facilities at the estate.
The visitor welcome hub would include a ticket scanning point, reception, office, toilets and members seating area.
The proposal is to relocate the ticket facility to provide ‘a better visitor welcome’ and to overcome a number of problems.
Guests enter the site through the straw bale building in the estate yard of Home Farm, a long walk from the car park and difficult to find, leading to confusion among visitors.
Almost 70 per cent of all complaints the grade-II listed site received in 2018 were related to the inability to find the ticket office.
The entrance was built in 2009 when visitor numbers were around 160,000 per year, but that figure has ballooned to almost 400,000 per year, meaning the building is no longer suitable to meet demand.
Instead, bosses want to move its entrance to the eastern end of Home Farm.
A spokesman for Tyntesfield said: “It is clear the visitor welcome facility is failing to cope with the visitor numbers to the site, let alone predicted increases, which will have knock-on benefits to the local economy.
“A scheme has been developed which will bring significant benefits to the long-term conservation, interpretation, visitor engagement and commercial opportunities at Tyntesfield, and to the local and wider area.
“The design of the building has also been carefully considered, and responds to the specific constraints and qualities of the site.
“Large queues had formed at the welcome point, especially on busy days when at times it took up to 30 minutes for people to pass through the ticket scanning point.”
The proposal complies with the relevant national and local policies and seeks to preserve the openness of the green belt and will also have ‘a minimal visual impact’ on the estate.
The council’s economic development department state the Gothic house is the largest tourism-sector draw for the surrounding economy and the fourth quickest-growing visitor attraction in the South West.