TATTON Park’s education team has been awarded a lifeline £180,000 as part of a £1.57 billion Government fund to help it face the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic and ensure its future.

Tatton Park is one of 1,385 cultural and creative organisations to receive urgently-needed support from £257 million of investment announced on Monday in the first round of the Culture Recovery Fund grants programme administered by Arts Council England.

Before the pandemic Tatton Park’s learning offer welcomed 24,000 school pupils and 1,000 informal learners every year, with learners coming from Knutsford, Cheshire, the north west and inner-city regions.

Between March and the end of September one school visit and no informal learning activities have taken place, and Tatton Park said without additional financial support its education offer was unlikely to recover from the pandemic’s devastating impact.

The grant will enable the education team to strengthen the onsite offer to make it Covid-19 safe, create resources suitable for the classroom or at home and introduce digital workshops for schools, home educators and families.

The plans also include an outreach offer which would be delivered in person by the team to schools and community locations, and the introduction of evening and weekend experiences to support community and uniformed groups like Brownies and Scouts, who find it difficult to visit during normal opening hours.

Laura Cunningham, Tatton Park’s learning and visitor services manager, said: “Securing this funding not only allows us to continue offering outstanding learning experiences for our audiences, but also supports the future sustainability and longevity of the education department.

“We will continue to offer on-site visits for those able to attend, but this funding will also allow us to introduce different formats to suit our visitors’ changing needs.

“We are passionate about the opportunity to again be able to share the rich and diverse history of Tatton Park, with new educational experiences available for all ages and abilities.”

Cllr Nick Mannion of Cheshire East Council said: “Tatton Park is a vital part of the economic vitality and cultural offer of Cheshire East and the north west.

“This funding is essential to enable the park’s award-winning education work to continue to be available despite the constraints caused by the pandemic.”