Peak District Gateway

Business • Chesterfield, Derbyshire Dales, North East Derbyshire

Providing a sustainable transport hub for tourists to access the Peak District with a lower environmental footprint.

  • Sustainable tourism via the Gateway at the PEAK Resort

The Gateway At PEAK's story

The Peak District is the UK's original national park, covering 555 square miles and attracting over 13 million tourism visits each year. With the staycation and wellbeing market booming, demand for national parks is predicted to rise exponentially over the coming years, sustainability is becoming an increasing important factor.

One of the main intentions of the Gateway at PEAK is to reduce the amount of vehicle traffic on the roads throughout the Peak District National Park. Currently, 85% of visitors arrive by car, so this will make a big difference. The Gateway will have parking and services to book onward travel into the park and the opportunity to shift into electric cars, group transport and more sustainable ways of exploring the park's natural beauty spots.

The 300-acre PEAK Resort site was first secured in 1988 following a long period of open cast. The land has now been fully reclaimed and prepared with the resort development in mind. Planning permission for over 5000 mixed-market beds and leisure facilities has been granted for the development, supported by zero carbon access to a National Park with its protected landscape and attractions. PEAK will offer world class biking, hiking, trail walking, nature, culture and heritage experiences, 365 days a year.

Developer Milligan has teamed up with Birchall Properties the landowner to form a JV to realise the Gateway @PEAK alongside strategic partners Chesterfield Borough Council, The University of Derby and The Peak District National Park Authority. The Gateway @PEAK will be the UK's first fully serviced national park gateway and forms the central feature of the 300-acre PEAK Resort development.

By utilising the new 'PEAK standard' ESG metric comparison tool, the Gateway @PEAK's sustainability goals will be completely transparent on pre-defined industry sector standards. PEAK will be able to share performance and improvements with stakeholders and visitors alike as well as quantify its offset on a long-term basis.

The University of Derby, one of the UK's leading hospitality and tourism institutions will bring leading thinkers and applied learning students into the Gateway. With the project team, it has identified a number of work streams which will ensure leading edge thinking: defining world-leading initiatives around sustainable tourism; sustainable design principles for the Gateway development itself, landscape led development, whole life carbon analysis and materials selection; sustainable construction methods/circular economy; data collection and performance monitoring; geotechnics and geosciences; environmental impact assessments and biodiversity planning.

In addition, The Gateway will create 1,000 local jobs and the project will generate Social Value by introducing a programme of initiatives within the local community and beyond throughout the planning, design and construction programmes and the delivery supply chains.

Useful learnings from The Gateway At PEAK

A critical factor in progressing the development to date has been the acquisition of a landfill and opencast site and its reclamation over 35 years. This reclamation is well documented and can be experienced on a site tour. Of the 300 acres approximately 30% will be developed with 70% remaining for both managed and wild nature.

The development of PEAK offers a new beginning, the opportunity to realise a brand new mixed-use development on a smart low carbon infrastructure. The resort comprises over 5,000 mixed market overnight beds, hospitality, retail and leisure facilities, making accommodation, hospitality, leisure, education and health available to a wide socio-economic market, thus encouraging sustainable lifestyles and employment.

To date inspiration for the project has come from organisations in the charitable, public and private sectors, both in the UK and overseas. The project will create and operate the PEAK Standard or kite mark - a simple to use metric comparison tool drawn from the myriad of existing environmental, social and governance accreditations which are relevant to all the goods and services required to build and operate PEAK.

All contractors, suppliers, operators and tenants must test themselves, their products and their supply chains against the PEAK standard and measure their performance. Thus a 'living' blueprint for development and operations of mixed-use campuses can be made available.

Through predictive modelling, the project team estimates that Gateway will attract almost 3,000,000 visitors annually, 82% of which will be from the region. It is a great example of a project that will promote the local supply chain, employment and training opportunities alongside the council and with the University of Derby, for provision at all levels of intern and work placement opportunities.

The Gateway At PEAK's metrics

Carbon emissions saved.
Visitor engagement.

Feeling inspired? Discover more about this story...

Response to climate crisis





Business, 10 to 49 people

Shared by

Midlands Net Zero Hub

Updated Nov, 2023

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