Peterborough attraction Sacrewell surprises 100,000th visitor

Hayley McAllister, entering Sacrewell with her son Toby McGuinness and General Manager, Debbie Queen
Hayley McAllister, entering Sacrewell with her son Toby McGuinness and General Manager, Debbie Queen

A heritage farming centre near Peterborough, has recorded its highest annual footfall ever, breaking through the 100,000 visitor barrier.

Sacrewell, part of the William Scott Abbott Trust, celebrated its 100,000th visitor of 2015 last week by awarding her with an annual membership.

Hayley McAllister from Peterborough, visited on a rainy afternoon with her son Toby McGuinness, four, and came away with a very sunny disposition.

“It made my day,” she said, after being told she would have her current membership extended for another year.

“This year is our first as members and we’re really enjoying it. We’ve been trying to come to as many events as we can. The Spooky Spectacular at Halloween was definitely our favourite.”

Sacrewell recently announced that its high footfall last year helped to significantly increase the number of people visiting heritage farm attractions in the East of England, and this year’s figures, which are likely to be closer to 105,000 visitors by Christmas, will do the same.

Last year’s visitor numbers set the previous record, with 92,000 from January to December.

Communications executive Megan Allen said: “We reopened our 18th Century grade II* listed watermill, part funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, this summer which has had a really positive effect on our visitor offer here, and the audience we are attracting.

“It’s great that more people are choosing to support local charitable attractions like ours, and people are starting to view Sacrewell as a heritage attraction with a real significance to the agricultural history of this landscape.”

Sacrewell plans to develop its heritage attractions further in 2016 by looking at ways of utilising other buildings on site, including the Georgian farmhouse.

Mrs Allen added: “As a charity, we’re working on reinvesting donations into further educational and heritage based activities.

“It’s all thanks to the thousands of people who have supported us in 2015, and I hope that they will continue to support us next year so that we can get our ideas moving. Our aim is to get the community involved in Sacrewell and heritage farming on a practical level and we can’t do that without their support.”