Heritage chiefs pilot ambassador scheme

Ambassadors who can promote the historical gems of Belper to the town’s visitors are being recruited as part of a new pilot scheme.

The team, which promotes and manages the World Heritage Site, is offering free training to shop and business workers so that when visitors ask them a question about Belper’s heritage, attractions and facilities they’ll be able to give the right answer.

The aim of the project is to ensure that visitors spend more money and time in the town and it is already proving popular, with a good take-up by businesses.

It is hoped it will roll out to the other communities in the World Heritage Site such as Cromford next year.

The chairman of the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site Board, Councillor Andrew Lewer, said: “A warm and welcoming first impression encourages visitors to stay a little longer and if we can provide them with the right information for lengthening their stay they will probably spend more in the town.

“Every satisfied visitor will go away and tell others about their experience and encourage them to visit. We are trying to make sure this happens.”

The free training involves a 90 minute walk with World Heritage Site Coordinator Adrian Farmer and Belper historian Mary Smedley, followed by a short session at the end to take attendees through an information pack with extensive easy-to-use information about the town.

There have been two one-off sessions so far, with a third taking place on Thursday July 5 at 6.30pm. Places are still available for the final day and can be booked on 01629 536831.

Anyone who can’t make that date is also being encouraged to get in touch so they can receive information on future training dates.

To find out more about the World Heritage Site, its history and how it is managed today, visit www.derwentvalleymills.org