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Heritage Lottery award Rudyard Lake near Leek with a £33,000 grant to move into the digital age

By Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: July 28, 2014

By Belinda Hargreaves

  • Rudyard Lake's visitor centre is set to be brought into the digital age with a £33,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

  • Rudyard Lake's visitor centre is set to be brought into the digital age with a £33,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

  • The visitor centre at Rudyard Lake.

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A visitor centre at a scenic lake is set to have a revamp to bring it into the digital age.

The Rudyard Lake Trust has received £33,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund for a project which will transform the building by the scenic lake, near Leek, and extend the visitor experience.

Led by volunteers from the community, the project will focus on the use of new technology to provide access to archive material using the latest media applications.

For the past 200 years people have been visiting Rudyard Lake, which is a reservoir and owned by the Canal & River Trust, and supplies the Cauldon & Trent & Mersey canals.

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In the 1920s it was known as the 'Blackpool of the Potteries' with thousands of people coming each year.

However, with the closure of the North Staffs Railway the Lake's popularity declined.

The Rudyard Lake Trust took over its management in 1995.

In 2000 the conversion of a 150-year-old boathouse into a visitor centre was the first of a series of improvements at Rudyard, and today over half a million people visit the Lake each year.

Chairman of the trust, Ray Perry, said: "History is made every day and thanks to the Heritage Lottery Fund grant we will be able to record and display people's memories for future generations using the latest technology and make a visit to Rudyard Lake a very memorable experience."

The trust is offering an opportunity to local people of all ages to attend a series of workshops which will enable volunteers to learn new skills in archiving imagery and website content as part of the project.

Volunteer Lesley Savage said: "We would like to recruit a number of volunteers to take part in training to archive photos and learn how to design and maintain the new information.

"We are looking to start the training in early September but need to recruit as soon as possible.

"This is a superb opportunity and the training will be at Rudyard supported by IT experts.

"We are initially looking for people to register their interest in being a volunteer for this project.

"The training will provide all the resources needed to enable the volunteers to learn, participate and eventually be involved in maintaining the information on the site, refreshing and renewing where appropriate.

"The training is likely to be equivalent to five days starting late August, times dependant on the availability of the volunteers.

"We are looking for around eight to 10 enthusiastic individuals of all ages."

Anyone interested in registering an interest in volunteering for this new project at Rudyard Lake can email info@rudyardlake.com or call 01538 306280.

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