Race to redesign Swiss tea rooms hots up

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there has been a “flurry” of interest from architects wanting to redesign Belper’s historic Swiss Tea Rooms, says Amber Valley Borough Council.

Last month, The News told how the council was inviting architects to come forward and compete for the chance to rebuild the distinctive rooms in the town’s River Gardens.

Now, a spokesman for the council said it was expecting a raft of designs to be submitted in time for the deadline on Friday, January 28.

He said: “We have had a very healthy interest but no actual submissions yet.

“That is normal. They will be waiting until the end of the tender process.

“We have had a lot of calls from architects expressing an interest. But they tend to play their cards close to their chests.

“We are expecting a flurry of entrants come deadline day.”

A panel of judges will select a small number of appropriate designs to go to a public consultation.

The future of the tea rooms, which were commissioned in 1905 by George Herbert Strutt, has courted much controversy in Belper.

Folk in the town want something that is in keeping with the old gardens.