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Restructure FAQs

The following Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) regarding the Authority’s Organisational Restructure programme (2023) will be regularly updated as new information becomes available or common themes are identified in feedback we receive.

If your individual circumstances mean that you require a physical copy of these FAQs, please contact our customer service team on 01629 816200 or Please be aware that comments or feedback cannot be directly submitted via our customer service team (see details on the response form in section 2 below).

  1. When will final decisions be made on any Authority operations that affect the public?

    A set of formal proposals are currently scheduled to be presented to the meeting of Authority Members on 28 April 2023. Any affected staff will be consulted internally on these proposals during May, and a final set of proposals for formal agreement and implementation will be presented in the July Authority meeting.

  2. Will there be a public consultation on the proposals/a formal opportunity for the public to submit their views?

    Whilst there is no statutory requirement for the Authority to undertake a formal public consultation on any aspect of an organisational restructure programme, we understand the public and others may have questions or concerns about some aspects of what is currently being considered, and eventually, the formal proposals put forward to Authority. We will keep this set of frequently asked questions regularly updated with additional information on concerns that are being raised about the restructure programme, so please take a look at these in the first instance before submitting your comments.

    An online feedback form is also available if you wish to submit a response to the Authority. Please use this form rather than emailing us directly so responses can be reviewed consistently. The deadline for submissions via this service is 17 March 2023.

    Information on upcoming Authority meetings (such as Agendas and public participation) will be made available ahead of meeting dates as part of our standard practices, with general information also here: Meetings of the Authority and Committees: Peak District National Park

    An internal formal consultation process for members of staff who may be affected by the changes will take place following the presentation of formal proposals to Authority in April.

  3. Does the National Park Authority own all of the buildings where its visitor centres operate from?

    No. The only buildings the Authority owns where we currently operate visitor centres are Castleton and Edale. Facilities at Bakewell and Fairholmes (Upper Derwent Valley) are leased from other organisations.

    Bike Hire centres operate separately and in addition to these locations and are primarily focused on hire activities, with only modest provision for retail and information. These centres are not being considered for change as part of the current options put forward. Under any review of how the Authority undertakes future engagement with visitors, our Bike Hire centres may be considered in supporting these aims.

  4. What will happen to the Castleton Historical Society (CHS) displays at our Castleton Visitor Centre?

    No formal decisions have so far been taken regarding the future operation of visitor centres (see no.1 above). We want to work closely with those who may have displays or exhibitions based at our centres (such as CHS) and we aim to ensure these can continue to be available to the public, even if Authority operations at these locations change.

  5. Will associated cafes and concessions continue to operate if centres are closed?

    No formal decisions have so far been taken regarding the future operation of visitor centres (see no.1 above). We are aware of the important and popular service that many of our food and beverage concessions provide and will work with either our lease partners (where relevant) or on our own sites to ensure these facilities can continue to operate wherever possible, even if our own operations change.

  6. How many people visit the Peak District National Park each year?

    Although there is no formal measure of visitor movements into the Peak District (unlike ‘gated’ national parks in the USA, for example), a range of existing tourism and transport data can be used to provide an estimate.

    This would suggest that current visitor numbers are as follows:

    • ‘Day visitors’ (3+ hrs) – 13 million
    • ‘Short-stay visitors’ (3hrs or less) – 13 million
    • Total (estimated): 26m

    This data does not provide more detailed information on those audiences within the total figures such as residents and business/work movements or other local visitors. Around 9 out of 10 visits to the national park are considered to be day visits (without an overnight stay).

  7. How many people go to National Park visitor centres each year?

    We currently welcome around 400,000 people across the four visitor centres each year.

  8. Do you have data on the financial impact of visitor centres to the local economy and the added value they provide?

    The Authority does not have data which calculates the direct financial impact of visitor centres to the local economy of the areas where they are based. As a largely incidental service, our visitor centres are not inherently ‘destination’ locations in themselves that may drive footfall specifically to any given area; along with any associated financial impact that may have. We recognise the important role and added value that centres often play as part of their community and in supporting responsible visiting and provision of information. However, our visitor centres currently engage with only a very small proportion of the overall number of visitors to the Peak District and on that basis may no longer be financially viable for the National Park Authority as it seeks to be more resilient and sustainable with fewer financial resources.

  9. How much does it cost the National Park Authority to operate visitor centres and do they make a profit?

    Between 2015 and 2022 the Authority’s combined network of four visitor centres (Castleton, Edale, Bakewell and Upper Derwent Valley*) cost on average £707,000 each year to operate. This includes employee costs, building costs, transport costs and costs for supplies and services - including items that are sold in the centres themselves.

    Although revenue is generated from retail sales made within the centres, over the same eight year period, the average annual deficit (loss) for running the visitor centre network was £189,000.

    *The Upper Derwent Visitor Centre is operated in partnership with the landowner, Severn Trent. All other centres are operated directly by the Authority.

  10. How will you communicate to visitors about responsible visiting if centres are closed?
  11. We will be exploring a range of options throughout this programme of organisational change, including how important information can still be shared with visitors to the Peak District if visitor centre operations are affected. The following activities will also continue to operate:

    • Our National Park Engagement Rangers
    • The National Park website which receives over 3 million visits each year
    • Our social media channels with an audience of 150,000 people, with an annual reach of around 30 million
    • Information provision in our Bike Hire centres
    • Working in collaboration with Visit Peak District & Derbyshire

    Existing feedback from our visitor centres and website allows us to understand the most frequently requested information about the Peak District and this may be used to develop alternative information options to be used both in person and digitally. As no formal proposals have so far been put forward as part of the Organisational Restructure, we do not currently have any further detail to provide.

  12. Can't the funding announced by Defra in March 2023 be used to change some of the organisational restructure options being considered?
  13. The Peak District, along with all of England’s National Park Authorities, received an equal £440,000 one-off grant in March 2023. This money is not pre-allocated or restricted to any specific area of the Authority’s work, nor is it an ongoing sum in addition to the Authority’s existing annual Defra grant. It represents less than ten per-cent of our annual Defra grant which continues to diminish in real-terms year-on-year due to an operating environment with continued inflationary and other pressures. The funding will simply underpin some of the activities we have already undertaken in 2022 and so far in 2023 and in turn, will support our programme of future investment as the Authority seeks to become a more affordable, financially resilient organisation. Provided as a one-off grant, the funding will not be sustainable to support some of the necessary ongoing savings the Authority will still need to make in the months and years ahead.

Last updated 1 March 2023

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