Work on a major £400m tourist and educational destination has finally begun this week, in a move which is expected to create 1,300 jobs.
The Peak Resort project will be built on the Birchall Estate at Unstone, which is a 300-acre opencast site, and will combine leisure, health, sport and education.
Initial work will include new signalled roundabout access to the A61, new multi-user bridleways, site fencing and security, and has begun thanks to a £2.8m Sheffield City Region Infrastructure Fund grant.
Once complete, the Peak Resort will comprise a “gateway dome”, four types of accommodation ranging from sports hostel to five-star hotel, a university campus, medical/clinical spa and 300 acres of park and woodland.
Coun John Burrows, leader of Chesterfield Borough Council, said: “This project is going to be a game changer for Chesterfield and its economy because it will put the area firmly on the UK tourist map and bring more visitors to the town.
“We have worked with Rupert Carr and his development partners over many years to make this project a reality and it is fantastic to see that work by the developers now bearing fruit.”
Peak Resort founder Mr Carr, pictured left with council representatives, has thanked the local authorities involved for their support and said the project was now taking shape after 28 years.
The development is a joint venture partnership between UK development company Peak Worldwide and US firm Grand Heritage Hotel Group.