This is an archived press release
Tuesday 8 June 2010
08 June 2010
Hope of new visitor centre for Millers Dale old station
The Peak District National Park Authority is proposing to lease the old Millers Dale station buildings to the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust.
The Authority’s services committee approved a proposed 30-year lease, provided the Wildlife Trust can get planning permission and the £2million funding it needs to transform the station into a visitor centre and café.
The Authority took over the station buildings on the Monsal Trail after the former rail route closed in 1967. It uses them as a ranger centre and countryside maintenance workshop, but with inadequate funds for improvement, some of the buildings are now in very poor condition.
Derbyshire Wildlife Trust proposes to apply to the Heritage Lottery Fund to restore the railway buildings (built in 1863) and transform the site into a visitor centre and café for walkers, cyclists, horse-riders and nature-watchers who use the Monsal Trail.
The new visitor centre would offer information about the wildlife and cultural heritage of the trail, and would also be a focal point for the £2.25m Pedal Peak District project, which aims to re-open tunnels along the Monsal Trail to create a cycleway between Buxton and Bakewell.
Derbyshire Wildlife Trust already owns the adjoining wildlife reserves of Priestcliffe Lees and Chee Dale. It has also leased the nearby disused Millers Dale Quarry for several years, improving its biodiversity and involving volunteers in conservation.
Services committee chair Cllr Andrew Marchington said: “We believe a partnership between ourselves and Derbyshire Wildlife Trust offers the best chance of investment in facilities that will greatly enhance people’s experience of the beautiful Wye Valley.
“The Wildlife Trust has long experience of managing sensitive sites and improving conservation, recreation, biodiversity, heritage and people’s understanding. Provided they can get the right funding and planning permission, we see this as the best way forward in the interests of the national park and the people who visit, live and work here.”