THE lower Derwent Valley could be in line for a £2.4 million investment to ensure its immense heritage survives for generations to come.
The DerwentWISE partnership – led by Derbyshire Wildlife Trust – put together an application to the Heritage Lottery Fund in September 2012.
Owing to the success of this, they are now tasked with putting together another more detailed application by April 2013.
If this next stage is a success, the partnership – which also includes Derbyshire Dales District Council, Derby City Council, Natural England, English Heritage – will be told in September 2013.
Work will start commence in November 2013 and the project will continue for five years.
Kevin Mann, spokesman for Derbyshire Wildlife Trust, said: “If we are successful with this application it will ensure that the valley is properly maintained and all its cultural heritage will be there for years to come.
“The area has one of the largest collections of ancient woodland in the UK and some its heritage dates back as far as Roman times.”
In the meantime, though, DerwentWISE is now looking to consult the public on how they would like to spend the money.
Kevin said: “We are keen to get feedback from the valley community as this will be a major initiative for the area.”
A questionnaire has been devised by DerwentWISE to find out how people use the valley, their project priorities and how much interest people have in the cultural heritage of the area.
The questionnaire will be available at the craft fair at Cromford Mill Yard on August 12 and Derby Caribbean Carnival on August 26.
Representatives of the project will also be asking people for their views in Matlock Bath on August 13.
In addition, community groups will be invited to give their views at three specially organised community events in Cromford, Belper and Derby and the questionnaire will soon be available online on Derbyshire Wildlife Trust’s web site.
Kevin said: “While this project is about making sure the landscape is preserved, it’s also about getting people from the area involved with what we’re doing.”
For more information on DerwentWISE visit www.derbyshirewildlifetrust.org.uk/ whatwedo.