Tideswell one year on

The pretty village of Tideswell in the Peak District was featured in the finale of the BBC1 show ‘Village SOS’ last September, and the village was unfairly portrayed by the programme as a village in crisis. It ended with Sarah Beeny, the presenter, sounding uncertain as to the projects future.

A year later, Tideswell is a vibrant place, the project has been hugely successful, and shows just what can be done when you combine a good idea, lots of hard work and financing from the BIG Lottery Fund.

Taste Tideswell is an innovative project run by the community for the community. It comprises the Tideswell School of Food – a cookery school in the heart of the village that includes a teaching kitchen, nano brewery and community kitchen and a recently landscaped community garden where local residents can come and learn about growing local food.

There is also an education programme for schools in the area; the ‘Tideswell Made’ brand for locally produced food items, and an annual Food Festival which takes place in May each year. The whole project is a not-for profit initiative designed to cover the local food chain “from plot to plate”. The elements of the project are bound together under the banner “Grow It, Cook It, Make It, Sell It, Share It”.

The Tideswell School of Food is attracting visitors to the region, keen to learn a new skill whilst on holiday, and catering for local demand for cookery (and brewing) education and enjoyment. Customers buy courses in the knowledge that they are supporting a local community business.

There are tastings and courses to suit all tastes and budgets. Since opening, the school has created 10 new jobs and brought additional employment in food related businesses to the village. A new food shop has opened and more villagers are shopping locally. Well over 1,000 people have passed through the doors of the school and it achieves excellent satisfaction scores and very positive reviews on Tripadvisor.http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Attraction_Review-g499597-d2154247-Reviews-Tideswell_School_of_Food-Tideswell_Peak_District_National_Park_England.html