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Stone to Steel

The Steel Valley Project successfully completed the five year Stone to Steel Project in March 2011

The Stone to Steel Project brought almost £1 million investment to Stocksbridge and the surrounding area, half of which was from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

This funding allowed the Steel Valley Project to employ project officers to work with the local community to discover and celebrate the natural and cultural heritage of Stocksbridge.







This included working  with schools, landowners, community groups and individuals to deliver:

  • Events such as heritage fairs, guided walks and education work.
  • Increase the accessibility of green space as well as the wider countryside
  • Manage local green spaces
  • Deliver capital projects through engaging contractors on behalf of landowners.
  • Produce leaflets and panels to promote heritage trails and the wider area.
  • Provide training and volunteer opportunities to local people.
  • Support schools and local community groups.

The Stone to Steel Project funding finished in March 2011 and in order look at how successful the project was, consultants were engaged to assess what impact was made.






These out puts are summarised in the column to the right, but overall the report demonstrated a number of key points:

More people are now accessing and enjoying the natural environment. This includes local people and visitors from further a field.

At the same time more people, particularly local people have a better understanding of Stocksbridge's natural and historic landscape and its development.

Local voluntary community groups and key partner organizations reported that they had increased their confidence and capacity to develop their projects.

Much of the work on the ground was achieved by volunteers working with the SVP.  

They were able to develop skills and knowledge to deliver a range of countryside management projects.  Qualifications were achieved in first aid and use of power tools such as chainsaws and strimmers.

This work also had positive impacts upon their health, confidence and employability that improved the quality of their lives.

Steel Valley Project Manager, Matthew North said, “I am delighted that the hard work of staff, volunteers and community groups has been shown to have such a positive impact for Stocksbridge and the surrounding area. This wouldn’t have been possible with out the support of Stocksbridge Town Council, Tata Steels and our other partners”

Work won’t stop here.  The report has highlighted key points that the SVP will carry on to build on this success.







The SVP will continue working with land owners and agencies to manage sites for the benefit of local people and wildlife.

It will  work with schools to access and use local green spaces to deliver the national curriculum.  Works on footpaths and rights of way will continue in partnership Sheffield’s Public right of Way Unit.

Volunteer training activities will continue to be developed to provide opportunities for local people.




You can download a copy of the complete Stone to Steel evaluation report here



Outputs from the Stone to Steel Project at a glance

  • 3140 people attended  91 events.
  • 40  activity sessions have been run with 1522 participants in formal education.
  • 1320 volunteer days have been completed by the project.
  • Eight local sites totalling 173 hectares of land have been improved.
  • Five additional sites have benefited from management input, totalling 31.5 hectares.
  • Access to six new walking trails has been created, totalling 54 km.
  • A greater number of people are accessing the natural environment because of the project.
  • Engagement with a wide range of community based groups
  • A very high proportion of community members who have engaged with the project have enjoyed the experience.
  • The project has had an impact on learning and an understanding of the local heritage and natural environment.
  • Community organisations engaged have developed new skills and confidence in heritage / natural environment projects.
  • The SVP has employed a particularly successful model of recruiting and retaining volunteers.
  • Volunteer trainees have succeeded in gaining qualifications, new skills and personal benefits as a direct result of their engagement with the project.

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