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 has been granted for the development which comprises over 5,000 mixed market overnight beds, hospitality, retail and leisure facilities supported by zero carbon access to a 550 square mile of National Park with its protected landscape and myriad of attractions.
PEAK will adapt the successful ski resort model to the UK market; offering 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.
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. With 85% of visitors currently arriving in the National Park by car, a gateway facility located outside the boundary providing accommodation, parking and services for onward travel into the park by foot, bike or electric or hydrogen fuelled vehicles will help mitigate their environmental impact and reduce traffic congestion.
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.
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 mixes the uses of accommodation, hospitality, leisure, education and health and makes them 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.