HRH Princess Anne officially opened Chatsworth’s new learning centre on Friday 5 October, which has been created by converting a potting shed in the heart of the historic garden.
The Old Potting Shed at Chatsworth is now a fully accessible bespoke indoor learning space capable of hosting up to 70 students at a time. Run by the Devonshire Educational Trust (DET), the new facility has been in use since May this year and has hosted a range of learning activities for primary, secondary, higher education and community groups.
The creation of the learning centre has been made possible by funding from the Derbyshire Charity Clay Shoot, the Duke of Devonshire’s Charitable Trust, and the Garfield Weston Foundation. It will open up Chatsworth to a wider range of students and more diverse groups of people. As well as 20,000 formal educational visitors a year, Chatsworth’s education team works with a range of disadvantaged groups including children in care, young carers, refugees and local BAME (black, Asian and minority ethnic) community groups. The new centre will allow them to develop and improve their educational programme and increase the numbers of people taking part.
Lord Burlington, chair of DET, said: “The growing range of projects made possible by the new Learning Centre will help usreach a more diverse range of people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities, enabling the Devonshire Education Trust to ensure Chatsworth is a more accessible, relevant and inspiring educational resource for a broader audience.
“As well as expanding what we offer, the new Learning Centre will help us to provide an even deeper level of connection with the vast array of resources available at Chatsworth, not only for children, but for people of all ages, by offering them learning opportunities of the highest quality.”
Having an indoor space in the 105 acre garden has allowed DET to develop a tailored programme for GCSE, A-Level and undergraduates; host bespoke talks and deliver practical sessions working with artists.
For more information on Chatsworth’s education offer, visit chatsworth.org/plan-your-