Top industry body to relocate to National Stone Centre in Wirksworth after cementing partnership
The trustees of the National Stone Centre near Wirksworth have declared its ambition to transform into a world-class visitor experience after agreeing a new partnership with a leading industry body.
The Institute of Quarrying (IQ) is set to relocate to the site from its current Nottingham headquarters and inject new resources to create an internationally significant centre of excellence for the quarrying and mineral products industry.
Ian Thomas, the founding director of the National Stone Centre (NSC), said: “By merging each organisation one can support the other in delivering on its respective ambitions.
“This is very much about building upon the 30-year legacy of the NSC. It’s about securing a bright and impactful future for the organisation, bringing lasting benefits in the form of personal development, awareness-raising, memorable experiences and local revenue growth.”
He added: “With support from the extractives sector, the NSC will move into a new era of success, driving forward the vision of its founders. I’m personally delighted that the Institute of Quarrying is now able to call the NSC its permanent home.”
The NSC opened in 1990 to help people learn about the origin, industry and science of stone, and inspire new generations to enter the industry.
IQ hopes to expand that mission to become a knowledge centre used to engage industry employees and other stakeholders vital to the future success of the sector.
President Martin Riley said: “Relocating our offices to the NSC means we will be able to visibly demonstrate the compelling story of the industry; how it has evolved through its history to the high standards it operates to today and the valuable contribution it makes for local communities and the environment.
“The facilities provide new opportunities for us to expand our services for members and the quarrying and mineral products industry. As we settle in we will be encouraging members to visit, and at the same time, enjoy a visit to the NSC.”
Among the first to welcome the news was Derbyshire Dales MP Sarah Dines.
She said: “I am delighted that this collaboration with the Institute of Quarrying will secure local jobs and deliver inward investment in what is a wonderful public asset.”