Derby College has teamed up with Derby City Council Tourist Information Centre to launch a tour programme at the historic Roundhouse in Pride Park.
From mid-September, groups and individuals will be able to book evening and weekend tours of The Roundhouse by contacting the TIC on 01332 255802 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visitors can book an hour-long tour of the 19th century Grade II listed Roundhouse, which has been restored to its former glory by Derby College to form the centrepiece of its spectacular £48 million vocational campus housing more than 2,500 students.
The tours, led by Derby City Council TIC guides cost £6 a head and visitors will also have the opportunity to buy refreshments and a new DVD celebrating the history and restoration of the site produced by local television personality Simon Groom.
Derby College Principal and Chief Executive David Croll explained: “We are delighted to be working with the Tourist Information Centre to bring the historical importance of The Roundhouse to life through the tours programme.
“We have always been committed to ensuring that the general public, and particularly those who are interested in Derby’s rich railway heritage, have access to this spectacular building which has been restored in part thanks to National Heritage Lottery Funding.
“There have been some informal tours and a hugely successful open day last summer but we needed this first academic year to fully settle into the campus and ensure that the tour programme was properly planned and appropriate both for visitors and as part of the busy curriculum and events programme at the College.
“Everyone who has visited us and of course the staff and students themselves who work here have been extremely impressed with the results that we have achieved and we look forward to welcoming many more visitors in the years to come.”
Stella Birks, Visitor Services Development Manger for Derby City Council, added: “The Roundhouse tours are part of our programme to raise the profile of all that Derby has to offer to visitors. Our team of ten tour guides are really looking forward to the opportunity to showcase the Roundhouse and tell people more about our unique city.”
The Roundhouse was built in 1839 and was the centre of Derby’s extensive Victorian railway works and is now the social hub of the College campus which cleverly combines restored buildings with contemporary new buildings, housing a wide range of vocational study facilities from engineering to hairdressing.
As well as the splendour of the buildings, interpretation artwork has been created throughout the campus to celebrate the role of key characters involved in The Roundhouse history including Matthew Kirtley, the Midland Railways’ first Locomotive and Carriage Superintendent; famous railway engineer George Stephenson and Francis Thompson, the original architect of the site.