This is an archived press release
Tuesday 29 June 2004
29 June 2004
BRIAN BLESSED TO UNVEIL FLAGSHIP CENTRE DURING NATIONAL PARKS WEEK
National Parks Week will be celebrated in the Peak District with the official opening of a flagship £1m visitor centre.
Actor and president of the Council for National Parks, Brian Blessed, will unveil the state-of-the-art Castleton Vistor Centre on Monday 5 July at noon.
Running from 1 to 9 July, National Parks Week aims to raise awareness of the landscape, lifestyle and recreational opportunities offered by the UK's 13 National Parks. The week is being co-ordinated by the Association of National Park Authorities (ANPA) and a host of events and activities will be taking place throughout the Parks.
The Castleton Visitor Centre, on Buxton Road, is open from 9.30am to 5pm seven days a week - closed only on Christmas Day - and it is a one-stop-shop for information about the Hope Valley and wider Peak District attractions, activites, events and accommodation.
It features the latest computer equipment, ensuring that information is available at the touch of a button, and a wide range of books, maps, guides, clothing, toys and gifts are on display. The centre also offers a country-wide accommodation booking service.
In addition, the centre is home to the Castelton Historical Society's impressive museum collection, which takes visitors back into the fascinating past of the village and its landscape. Local events and exhibitions will be staged throughout the year.
Outside the building brand new public toilets have been developed by High Peak Borough Council and car and coach parking have been improved.
Chair of the Peak District National Park Authority's Park Management Committee, Lynn Crowe, said: "Castleton and the Hope Valley are among the most visited areas of the Peak District, welcoming people from throughout the world. We anticipate that the centre will handle hundreds of thousands of enquiries each year, and it is an excellent addition to our information services.
"We have worked closely with partners and particularly the Castleton Historical Society to develop this exiciting facility for local people and visitors - and we are delighted to be welcoming Brian Blessed to unveil the centre during National Parks Week."
The official opening is just one of the activities taking place in the Peak District during the week. The Park will host vists by inner city school children and the Authority has teamed up with the Ramblers Association to organise a guided walk for people from Sheffield, Stoke and Lincoln. For some, it will be their first visit to the countryside.
A series of free guided walks also takes place during the week - to find out more visit www.peakdistrict.org/ranger50