A historic former railway building is to be granted a new lease of life through a renovation scheme led by the Peak District National Park Authority.
The Millers Dale station – a popular stop on the Monsal Trail – will soon be restored and opened to the public, in a development that will see a new cafe and visitor information point created within the former ticket office.
The scheme will help to safeguard the buildings for the future while retaining the sensitive and classic appearance of the platform, where trains last passed through more than half a century ago.
Millers Dale station sits on the Monsal Trail, which attracts more than 140,000 visitors every year.
Along with restoring the exterior and rejuvenating the traditional feel of the ticket office, careful consideration has also been given to the use of renewable energy and the interests of more recent residents in the shape of birds and other wildlife who now call the former ticket office home.
To minimise impacts on species such as brown long-eared bats and migratory house martins, works will take place outside of the breeding season, with new bird nesting areas and bat boxes provided for the following year, after the development is complete.
The building has recently operated as a Peak District National Park Authority ranger base, with limited visitor facilities, including toilets and basic refreshments.
Emma Stone, head of visitor experience development at the Peak District National Park Authority said: “Our former railway trails are one of the Peak District National Park’s most valued and popular assets, with hundreds of thousands of visitors each year – and locations such as Millers Dale are welcome and iconic stop-offs on these trails.
“With visitors walking, cycling and riding along these historical routes, it is only fitting that we ensure that heritage buildings such as this can show both a window onto the past, while offering the contemporary facilities that visitors may expect as part of an enjoyable and fulfilling trip to the Peak District National Park.
“This type of development not only safeguards the future of these buildings, but allows us to generate funds to continue looking after them.
“The project will be undertaken with great sensitivity to both the cultural and natural heritage of the site, alongside our experts in these areas.”
The café and visitor information point will operate as a partnership enterprise and we are currently advertising the opportunity on our website (www.peakdistrict.gov.uk/tenders), with a closing date of 21st September.
Works are due to be completed by Spring 2019 and the project will also see improvements to the car park and former goods shed.