TATTON Park bosses are to spend £1.55 million on improving the welcome on offer to its 800,000 visitors.

The money is being invested by Cheshire East Council on refurbishing the stableyard area of the National Trust attraction, a popular focal point for visitors.

The council’s cabinet has approved the next step in the Tatton Vision investment programme – to implement a stableyard project.

The project is part of a wider investment programme to improve the welcome and visitor experience, which includes a new visitor arrival building, which is under construction.

Benefits will include improved access and landscaping, new toilet facilities, additional events space and a facility for seasonal activities such as theatre, outdoor markets and exhibitions.

The park is managed by Cheshire East Council on behalf of the National Trust, which has approved the plans.

Cllr Nick Mannion, Cheshire East Council cabinet member, said: “The borough is extremely fortunate to have an award-winning visitor destination such as Tatton Park, and it is vitally important we continue to invest in this facility and build on the visitor offer.

“The park plays an important role in the life of Cheshire East, making an important contribution to the visitor economy, while offering conservation and environmental benefits alongside educational, cultural and commercial objectives.”

Plans for the phased improvements to the park were approved in principle by the council in June 2016, with planning permission granted the following year.

Purcell Architects, specialists in heritage restoration, have been commissioned to develop initial designs, and approval of the plans by cabinet means the authority can now progress the stableyard project.

Part-funded by a grant from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development, the new visitor arrival building will offer an improved welcome by providing information and orientation about the park and the region.

It will offer all-weather protection, disabled parking, seating and a new coach drop-off point for schools and group visits. It is expected to be completed by early next year.

Tatton Park boasts an 18th century mansion house, 40-acre working farm, deer park, medieval old hall and award-winning gardens.

It contributes £34 million to the local visitor economy, and hosts more than 100 indoor and outdoor events throughout the year.