National park authority considers closing Reeth visitor centre

Hudson House, Reeth. Photo: Google.

The Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA) is considering closing its visitor centre in Reeth in a bid to save money.

The authority has a base at Hudson House where visitors can get information about things to do in the local area and can book accommodation.

Authority bosses say a freeze on the organisation’s core grant from the Government means YDNPA is facing a deficit of £1m in 2024/25 unless it finds savings.

YDNPA will discuss closing the visitor centre next year at a meeting on March 28.

The authority says the move would save £31,000 a year in rent and staff costs.

A spokesperson for the authority said: “The visitor numbers at Hudson House are small in comparison with the four national park visitor centres.

“The people who visit Reeth tend to be return visitors so they don’t necessarily need the service; also people are getting visitor information from other sources these days.

“There are under 8,000 visitors a year to Hudson House, which means that in effect it is costing nearly £4 for each person crossing the threshold and it is suggested that that is not good value for public money.”

Hudson House is run by a not for profit company.

Other organisations based in the property include the district council, North Yorkshire Police and Swaledale Festival.

The chair of Hudson House, Mike Evershed, said while the departure of the national park authority would be a blow, it would not put the future of the building in jeopardy.

He added: “We cannot comment in detail as we have not seen what is proposed.

“But if the national park were to withdraw from Hudson House our main concern would be for the local community and visitors. As well as tourist information, the area ranger is also based here and he has provided invaluable help to the local community, not least after the devastating floods in 2019.

“The National Park have been our partners in providing services from Hudson House since it opened 20 years ago. We recognise that they face a difficult budgetary situation and stand ready to talk to them about alternative ways to save money or boost income before any final
decisions are taken.

“Hudson House is not itself at risk. It would be a blow if one of our founding partners were to withdraw, but whatever happens we will survive and continue to do our best to support the community, businesses and visitors to Swaledale and Arkengarthdale.”

4 Comments

  1. The way national patks could save money is by moving out of its extravigant premesis in Bainbridge. Go take a look. What a waste of public money. Most of it unused, but heated 24/7

  2. Could it not be run by volunteers? Obviously that wouldn’t be the ideal solution but it’s the only way some tourist offices & libraries have been kept open.

  3. The National Park Centres do a valuable job for the area, I do hope they stay open

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