Region: East Midlands
Owner Type: Many,Private
Funding Body: HERS (EH); Private; Public
Year of Intervention: 2001 - 2002
Summary: Peak Villages- New life for farming communities and enhancing local distinctiveness in a National Park through the aid of the Heritage Economic Regeneration Scheme (HERS).
Description: Peak village is a farming community located in the Peak District National Park.
Issue: A large number of farm buildings in the Peak District National Park have suffered from failing roofs or are listed buildings at risk, which are either redundant or unusable. As well as making a property unusable, and ultimately at risk of demolition, a building in disrepair is a visual blight on an area and a disincentive for neighbouring owners to invest in their own properties. Upland farming has been under extreme economic pressure, with incomes barely sufficient to maintain viability, still less to enable expenditure on building repairs. The Peak District National Park is predominately (88%) low-grade farmland, compared with 13.5% regionally and 18.4% nationally. From 1995, farm incomes relating to the most common farm types found in the National Park rapidly declined until 1999/2000. Agriculture employment in the National Park has followed the contraction seen nationally, along with the move towards a greater proportion of part-time employees. The area was further hit by the 2001 foot-and-mouth crisis, which hit both farming and tourism in the Park.
Strategy: The Peak Villages HERS, launched in October 2001, is directed primarily at the repair of farm buildings within 18 conservation areas in the central part of the National Park, with the aim of returning the buildings to a sound, usable state and in doing so to conserve the character of the area.
Outcome: Since the launch, nine completed applications have been received and a further 25 enquiries have been made. The scheme is expected to assist economic viability, boost morale in the farming community and enhance the historic landscape of the Peak District National Park. The scheme also makes it possible for some farm buildings to be converted for residential use, particularly as holiday cottages, creating further opportunities to encourage tourism and boost incomes.
Keywords: Assessment and Characterisation, Regeneration
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