Peak District National Park Authority faces further budget cuts

Monsal Head, Peak District
Image caption The Peak District has a resident population of 38,000 but is visited by 10 million people each year

The Peak District National Park Authority is facing a further budget cut of £577,000 as part of a four-year savings plan.

In total, the authority's grant has fallen from £7.85m in 2011-12 to about £6m in 2014-15.

Chief executive Jim Dixon said it, like all national park authorities, were being forced to balance the books.

He said the park was looking at new ways of generating more income from its trails and visitor centres to help.

About 40 jobs have been lost to date, with more expected as a result of the cuts.

Mr Dixon said: "Since the coalition government came to power we've had to cope with 30% cuts and we are predicting even more.

"We are making tough decisions about what is, and what is not, a priority."

However, trails such as Monsal, High Peak and Tissington have been identified as possible sources of additional income.

Mr Dixon said some of the cuts could be offset by providing better cafes on the routes, improving cycling facilities and increasing sales at visitor centres.

The authority, which is responsible for planning issues in the Peak District, has said it will also introduce charges for pre-application planning advice to businesses to generate revenue.

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