Hurst Farm project introduction

Hurst Farm estate from High Tor

The Hurst Farm project is a regeneration partnership project let by Derbyshire Dales District Council working with the Hurst Farm community since 2017 with the aim of creating and delivering an innovative vision for the estate. The project wants to improving the physical infrastructure, as well as support community development, social enterprise building creating opportunities, especially for families and children living on Hurst Farm.

Project Background

Hurst Farm is a 700 house strong community located in Matlock. 60% of the houses are owned by Platform Housing Group and 40% are privately owned. The estate has beautiful views across to Riber Castle and on three sides is surrounded by beautiful woodland. It has two small shops, a community centre and the Farmer’s View Community Hub (former Social Club).

In 2017 Derbyshire Dales District Council successfully made a bid for Government funding to work with the community of Hurst Farm in Matlock to build a long term regeneration strategy. We joined forces with the Derbyshire Dales Council for Voluntary Services (DDCVS), the Platform Housing Group and the Friends of Hurst Farm (FoHF) to make the successful bid to the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG).

Logo of the Ministry of housing communities and local government

The £100,000 grant funding received from the Government's Estate Regeneration Fund, enabled the District Council to appoint an Estate Regeneration Manager post to support a two year detailed feasibility study and create a masterplan for the 700-home Matlock community. The Council contributed an additional £21,525 from its own Revenue Grants ‘Unapplied Reserve’ to support the work.

At the same time our partner Platform Housing Group received a further £90,000 from the Estate Regeneration Fund to support the purchasing of specialist consultancy services and surveys to support the master planning work.

The Hurst Farm Regeneration project was chosen, because the government recognises that poor housing and poor quality neighbourhood design can significantly impact on life chances and realises that the estate regeneration process proposed can offer a real opportunity to transform the way people live on Hurst Farm long term.

The project set out to support the improvements of community assets on Hurst Farm, such as the community centre, the school and the social club building. Through partnership working and bringing in additional funding, it wants to support the creation of more local employment and training opportunities.

We believe that the resulting strategic masterplan allows for future development to be more co-ordinated and will provide the evidence needed to apply for additional pots of funding to support the implementation of the strategy.

The Project Start

The project started in September 2017 with the appointment of the Estate Regeneration Manager Marie Schmidt.

Marie is a chartered landscape architect with experience in community regeneration. Marie reports to a project steering group, which was set up to oversee the project and aims to work in partnership with the Friends of Hurst Farm, Hurst Farm residents, local organisations and stakeholders.

In September 2017 we started the project with an initial desk study. This included a study to understand the many complex underlying issues within the Hurst Farm community and surveying and assessing the physical infrastructure of the estate (parking, road surfacing, boundaries, green spaces and maintenance). The study also recorded the existing community assets and resources, undertook detailed community consultation to understand aspirations and looked at the existing social issues such as health, fuel poverty, education and employment within the community.

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What they are saying...

Tom Casey, Chair of the Friends of Hurst Farm said:

"It's great news regarding the regeneration funding and great news for the Hurst Farm Estate. Community spirit is at an all-time high and this just adds to that."

The District Council's Head of Housing Rob Cogings said:

"Unsurprisingly, the Government awards have largely favoured urban areas, so it's especially pleasing that we have managed to win support for a rural district - and being among only three successful council bids in the whole of the East Midlands is a massive achievement.

"A considerable amount of resource has been put into Hurst Farm over the last 20 years by local authorities, the police, housing providers, health and the voluntary sector, resulting in some improvements. However, the estate remains a focus for many agencies, and part of the rationale for developing an estate regeneration project here is to address some of the underlying issues that affect the estate, and to find solutions to them."

Chief Executive of Derbyshire Dales CVS Neil Moulden said:

"The agencies involved in this bid have already worked closely with Hurst Farm residents and the progressive Friends group and there is a general appreciation that investment is needed to provide the necessary knowledge of the issues facing the estate. Initially the regeneration funding will be used to support and engage with residents. In time it is hoped the project will be able to bid for and attract capital finance from a range of sources to deliver environmental improvements and community benefits on the estate."

It all began with the children:

The Hurst Farm community consultation begun with the creation of the "We Love Hurst Farm" Regeneration Logo in December 2017. This was done in collaboration with the children attending the Friends of Hurst Farm Youth Club. Let by artist Rosanna Scrase 34 children aged 4-12 years of age took part in an arts workshop learning to lino print.

The children were asked to draw images of the things they loved about Hurst Farm. Each child produced a few little leaf-shaped drawings depicting the houses, shops on the estate, showing their families and friends, but also showing their care for the animals and plants on the estate. Each leaf was stuck to a giant fabric tree the artist had created for the workshop. At the end of the workshop the drawings were taken by the artist to create a lovely piece of art. This image celebrates Hurst Farm as a great place to live and its strong caring community. A community spanning several generations, that looks after each other, that has an amazing view of Riber Castle and is a part of Matlock.

We loved the image so much that the Hurst Farm project board decided to adopt it as the official logo of the regeneration project.

Hurst Farm youth club group with their finished fabric tree

Hurst Farm Regeneration Logo created by children of Hurst Farm and artist Rosanna Scrase.

Hurst Farm Community Consultation

The Hurst Farm project has seen three phases of community consultation since work started in 2017. More consultation is planned during 2023.

Phase 1 2017-2018: ‘Planning for Real’ 3D model Community Consultation

Derbyshire Dales District Council and Friends of Hurst Farm worked with the residents to find out how Hurst Farm could be made into an even better place to live in the future.

From June to September 2018 we run several 'Planning for Real' consultation events on the estate offering all residents a say. For this we created a 3D model of the estate with the children of Castle View Primary School and 1000 individual little flags with suggestions and issues across 8 key themes.

During several consultation events residents and children were asked to choose and stick flags representing their concerns and aspirations into relevant places on the model. Each flag and its location were recorded providing us with a clear overview of priorities, key themes and areas of concern.

3D model of Hurst Farm

Close up of the 3D model of Hurst Farm

Community planning event showing residents and partners gathered around a table assessing and planning consultation outcomes

Picture: Three dimensional model of Hurst Farm Picture: Three dimensional model of Hurst Farm Picture:

Phase 2 2019: Easter Consultation Phase 1 Outcomes

The findings of these consultation events have been used as a basis to inform the beginning of the Hurst Farm vision. The consultation gave us an idea of the priorities and emerging projects that the community would like to see developed.Outcomes collected during the first Phase formed the basis for a draft vision and masterplan, which we exhibited during the Easter weekend in April 2019. Community feedback was collated and used to finalise the vision.

Phase 3 2020: Two online surveys as part of the Hurst Farm Heritage Trail Development Phase

The consultation in Phase three was affected by the COVID lock downs, which meant that in person consultation was not possible. Instead we created two online surveys, which we distributed via social media, posters and newsletter. It involved not only the Hurst Farm community, but also the adjoining communities of Asker Lane, Wishingstone, Lumsdale and Tansley. The consultation questions asked for local resident’s feedback on the proposed Heritage Trail project, their knowledge of the local heritage, their interest in different activities and events and willingness to pay for these.

Despite Covid we had a reasonable response rate and the overriding feedback for the project was positive. The small amount of concerns we received were incorporated into the design and included us changing the route of the path to avoid the Lumsdale Valley and its natural character.

November 2020 Hurst Farm Vision Launch and Celebration

Two years into the Hurst Farm Regeneration Project we launched the Hurst Farm vision and masterplan.

The vision is based on the community priorities and aspirations and looked at creating new solutions to old problems using the existing resources of Hurst Farm creatively.

Group of 8 key Hurst Farm project logos

Both residents and project partners attended to celebrate the launch of the vision at the Hurst Farm Social Club on Wednesday 27 November.

Group photo of the launch showing from front left Michele Cartwright, Rebecca McIntyre, Tom Casey, Marie Schmidt, from back left Neil Moulden, Amanda Holden, Julie Mulligan, Clare Peat, Councillor Flitter, Sue France, Anna Casey, Bill Clarke, Helen Legood

Estate Regeneration Manager Marie Schmidt said:

"This event showcased the inspiring vision for Hurst Farm that has been created with the community and it will celebrate the early success we have already achieved.

"We thank all the partners, together with the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) for the funding and assistance that has made this important work possible.

"Working with the community a new inspiring vision has emerged that we plan to develop and realise over the coming years as funding becomes available."


Here's a video, shown at the celebration event, that gives an overview of what has been achieved by the project so far:

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We also created a holding website for the Hurst Farm community at This website is intended to become the main information portal for Hurst Farm and will be developed further and expanded as the projects grow and come online.For more information you can contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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