The Whitworth Centre and Park were bequeathed to the people of Darley Dale. The Parish Council and Trustees are, as you recently reported, exploring different strategies to find the necessary finances to secure their long term future. Ingrid Pasteur, Mayor and Whitworth Centre Board Member, states that the Centre costs £380 a day to run.
More significantly she adds that “even full time lettings to the local community would not cover this.” Whilst I can sympathise with the Trustees looking to develop the Centre as a business in order to fund its running costs, it would be a tragedy if, in doing so, its use by the local community was sacrificed.
There is an alternative. There are 2200 households in Darley Dale. If the parish council increased its precept by an equivalent of 50p weekly for each household they would have an annual budget of £57,200 at their disposal. Whilst this suggestion may not be welcomed in every household in Darley Dale, it would secure the long term future of “this wonderful gift”.