This is an archived press release
Tuesday 18 May 2004
18 May 2004
"OLD SMITHY" FORGES NEW LIFE AS VILLAGE STORE AND TEA-SHOP
A once-derelict blacksmith's forge is re-invigorating village life in the picturesque Peak District.
The Old Smithy has been rescued and restored as the only village store and tea-shop in Beeley, near Bakewell, by Chris Boyce, who is himself starting a new life, having formerly been principal of an architect and design company in Sheffield.
And because he is making a feature of using local produce wherever he can, the tea shop project obtained a £20,000 grant from the Peak District National Park Authority's New Environmental Economy programme (NEE). Funding from the Countryside Agency has helped create the village store.
The aim of the NEE grants is to boost the local economy and encourage businesses to use the unique Peak District environment as a business asset.
There is no doubt Chris Boyce's project fills those criteria: "We're hugely locally-sourced - we use local eggs, meat, cheese, flour, cakes and traditional items like Derbyshire oatcakes," he said.
Not only that but the conversion of the Chapel Hill smithy involved locally-sourced building materials and reclaimed furniture, furnishings and equipment. "We couldn't have managed all this without the grants," said Chris.
Hayley O'Neill, NEE Programme Manager, said: "Beeley is a very picturesque village but it had no shop at all. The store and tea-shop will provide not only an outlet for local foods and crafts but a facility for visitors and a meeting point for residents.
"The main thing is it is well-supported by the local community and the jobs created will enhance the local economy."