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Dales attraction secures EU funding for improvements

Dales attraction secures EU funding for improvements

Published at 8:52am 1st December 2016. (Updated at 10:40am 1st December 2016)

How Stean Gorge in Nidderdale has been awarded a £66,000 EU grant which will part-fund a new extension at the outdoor adventure centre.

It will include floor-to-ceiling glass walls looking out into the gorge canopy and a cantilevered glass floor enabling visitors to see down into the depths of the ravine.

The new facility, which is due for completion in April next year, will be used for corporate and educational away-day sessions, as well as special events, weddings and private dining.

The gorge, which was acquired by owners Stan and Ann Beer and Keith Boardall in 2007, has been developed from a walk-through cave and footpath into a centre with a campsite, two bunk barns and a community post office.

It offers activities such as canoeing, gorge scrambling, abseiling and caving to corporate groups and families, as well as stag and hen parties, and has one of only two high-wire 'via ferrata' climbing courses in England.

Stan Beer said: "We're really proud to have designed a space that has a real wow factor and makes the most of this incredibly special place. The outdoor adventure aspect of the business has increased dramatically in recent years and we have also outgrown our current indoor capacity as the popularity of the restaurant has taken off.

"The fantastic new extension will help position How Stean to expand into new markets, increase bookings and encourage longer visitor stays, which will all boost the long-term sustainability and profitability of this rural business."

The extension, designed by Nidderdale architectural designer James Robinson, will also create two new jobs and take the workforce at How Stean Gorge to 12.

Previous European Structural Fund awards have enabled the centre to develop new shower facilities and a water treatment plant, a new vehicle bridge spanning the gorge and an online booking facility.

Artist's impression of How Stean Gorge extension

Artist's impression of the new extension to How Stean Gorge