Combermere Abbey gets financial support

Combermere Abbey across the lake

Combermere Abbey receives technology boost thanks to the UK Government’s ‘Culture Recovery Fund’

Local gem Combermere Abbey was recently one of 445 heritage sites across the country to receive a financial boost from the Government as part of a £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund to help them through the Coronavirus pandemic.

The abbey received £45,000 to introduce superfast broadband and upgraded technology to the estate, as well as to fund the creation of a video on the history and restoration of this historic house. The grant from the Culture Recovery Fund was issued in October last year by the Government and distributed by  Historic England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Being a mile off the main road and not connected to the main network, Combermere Abbey’s broadband speed pre-upgrade was around 6mb download and 0.5mb upload, now it has both download and upload speeds of around 50mb.

Alongside the superfast broadband, which will cover all buildings across the estate including the holiday cottages, wedding event spaces and event offices, Combermere Abbey has enjoyed an upgrade to Office 365 and a new VOIP telephony system. The upgraded internet speed will mean holiday accommodation guests can be sure of excellent streaming facilities, can work remotely comfortably and children can even continue with school projects if required. Alongside this, thanks to the upgrade, the abbey is working on a service that will allow wedding couples to stream their day to guests who could not make it there in person.

Combermere Abbey owner Sarah Callandeer Beckett

Sarah Callander Beckett, owner of Combermere Abbey says: “The fund was an amazing gift in the middle of a very very difficult time for us and a great lobbying success for Historic Houses. As a private historic property, we do not get access to many Government funds and many privately owned historic properties are in rural areas and are the most disadvantaged when it comes to fast connectivity.  Today, if you want to promote your historic property to the widest possible audience then it has to be accessible on all forms of digital. The cost of bringing it onto the estate was very substantial as we are so far from the main road. The grant gave us the funds to do that and put us on a more level playing field.”

She adds: “Our monthly phone bill is usually very high. By using this new technology we are more efficiently linked, can substantially reduce the number of phone lines we currently pay for and have more effective and efficient phone management systems. The introduction of Office 365 gives us improved communication between our offices and access to cloud-based security for our data. We have been able to put laptops into offices and permit some home-based working for relevant managers. During the pandemic this has proved a saving grace.”

Alongside the technology upgrades, an informative film will be produced on Combermere Abbey and its restoration which will be promoted across all our social media channels and on our website. We live in a global society and there are so many of people who share relationships and history with this wonderful place, who can now get in touch.

Combermere Abbey pavilion for weddings

Combermere Abbey given financial lifeline

Combermere Abbey, a treasured local country estate, has been announced as one of 445 heritage organisations across the country set to receive a financial boost from the government as part of a £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund to help them...

Combermere Abbey, Shropshire

Combermere Abbey

Whitchurch, Shropshire, SY13 4AJ

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