IQ relocates to new home in Derbyshire Dales

The UK Institute of Quarrying (IQ) has joined with the trustees of the National Stone Centre near Wirksworth in the Derbyshire Dales, to open a centre of excellence which will also become its new headquarters.
Quarry Products / August 10, 2021
By Liam McLoughlin
 The IQ will relocate from Nottingham to the new centre near Wirksworth in the Derbyshire Dales
The IQ will relocate from Nottingham to the new centre near Wirksworth in the Derbyshire Dales

The IQ says the new centre will be "a world class visitor experience and an internationally significant centre of excellence" for the quarrying and mineral products industry.

The National Stone Centre officially opened in 1990 with the aim of inspiring people to engage with the origin, industry and the history of stone. It is set within six former limestone quarries on a 40-acre Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

Now the IQ says it will provide the resources and capability required to further develop the National Stone Centre (NSC) as a compelling visitor destination. In addition, the site will become the new home of IQ, which is relocating from its current offices in Chilwell, Nottingham.

IQ president Martin Riley comments: “As a membership organisation, IQ remains focused on supporting and developing professionals in the industry. Moving to the NSC will put us in the heart of Derbyshire, where quarrying has a rich heritage and generates £2.1bn gross value added (GVA) per year to the national economy.
“Relocating our offices to the NSC means we will be able to visibly demonstrate the compelling story of the industry; how it has evolved through its history to the high standards it operates to today and the valuable contribution it makes for local communities and the environment."

Riley added that the facilities available at the NSC will provide new opportunities for the IQ to expand its services for members and the quarrying and mineral products industry.

"As we settle in we will be encouraging members to visit, and at the same time, enjoy a visit to the NSC,” said Riley.

Ian Thomas, original founder and director of the National Stone Centre, says that the aim of the NSC is to be a Centre of Excellence at national, regional and local scales, in all aspects relating to learning about stone and allied matters in the United Kingdom. He adds that the aim of IQ is to advance the science and practice of quarrying internationally in the interests of the public at large and that, by merging each organisation, one can support the other in delivering on its respective ambitions.

“This is very much about building upon the 30-year legacy of the NSC," says Thomas. "It’s about securing a bright and impactful future for the organisation, bringing lasting benefits in the form of personal development, awareness-raising, memorable experiences and local revenue growth. Plus, with support from the extractives sector, the NSC will move into a new era of success, driving forward the vision of its founders. I’m personally delighted that the Institute of Quarrying is now able to call the NSC its permanent home.”

The IQ says there will be school visits to the museum and exhibitions the site to help children understand the science in geology, the natural environment and industrial heritage.

It adds that this joint initiative gives the quarrying industry the ideal platform to add value with direct engagement with the general public which will enhance the experience already created by the NSC and a deeper understanding of the industry to the public at large.
Professor Iain Stewart, patron of the NSC, comments: “I’m hugely passionate about how stone has shaped our world today. Securing the future of the NSC for future generations to experience and enjoy is fantastic news.”

The NSC depends on volunteers to operate and maintain the site. The current trustee board is dedicated to the ongoing operation of the site and will continue to be the management board, with the IQ providing additional strength to the board.

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