Cable car proposal could be 'silver bullet' for Malvern's economy

Malvern Gazette: (3883106) (3883106)

A £6 million project for a cable car to take visitors to the top of the Malvern Hills could be a "silver bullet " to galvanise the local economy.

The ambitious project has just been unveiled by High Street Malvern, which was set up in 2007 to revitalise the town centre.

The report envisages a cable-car linking the town centre with a site near the top of the Worcester Beacon, possibly wit6h a visitor centre at the start point and toilets and refreshment provision at the Beacon end.

The group says it would be a much-needed major visitor attraction. "The district council makes considerable effort to promote Malvern, but it lacks any 'silver bullet' to galvanise the local economy," says the report.

The report says that although a million people a year visit the Hills, few visit the town, which it describes as "ailing", where "shops and businesses struggle to survive".

A cable car would bring in more visitors, whose spending would boost businesses, and could provide income for Malvern Hills Conservators.

Anticipating criticism that the Conservators do not allow encroachment on the Hills, the report says that "public and legal opinion has changed... and much more importance is now attached both to general public access to the countryside and also to disabled access.

"It is considered that the installation of any transport system would not infringe the legislation and a decision to proceed could be justified," but the report adds that "cecause of the strict provisions of the Conservators’ Acts and the fact that the Hills are an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, any installation would have to be carried out in a sensitive way".

The report was compiled with the help of a company which successfully operates a cable-car system at the tourist town of Matlock Baths in Derbyshire.

Dan Wild of High Street Malvern said: "There are many conditions to be met before for the project to become viable. Public opinion would then have to be gained and transformed into political will.

"There are many unknowns and it is hoped that the publication of the draft proposal will stimulate debate and fill in the missing pieces."

Comments (5)

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2:30pm Wed 12 Feb 14

Jojogabor says...

This is a brilliant idea. Malvern used to be a thriving tourist destination which is in a slow decline for attracting visitors. The town is slowly filling up with empty hop fronts and something like this will bring in much more visitors. Families and elderly people who can enjoy the hills who might not have done normally.

Go to towns like Queenstown in New Zealand and see what attractions they have their for visitors to enjoy the mountains. Cable cars, dedicated mountain bike and walking trails. That attracts visitors and allows the town to thrive. Malvern can benefit in much the same way while the cable car will not impact on the beautiful site of the Malvern Hills, at least no more than a footpath does.

However the stranglehold of the Conservators I feel will kill this plan off. They refuse to move with the times and while protecting the hills will allow a beautiful town to turn into a ghost town blighting the side of their precious hills.
This is a brilliant idea. Malvern used to be a thriving tourist destination which is in a slow decline for attracting visitors. The town is slowly filling up with empty hop fronts and something like this will bring in much more visitors. Families and elderly people who can enjoy the hills who might not have done normally. Go to towns like Queenstown in New Zealand and see what attractions they have their for visitors to enjoy the mountains. Cable cars, dedicated mountain bike and walking trails. That attracts visitors and allows the town to thrive. Malvern can benefit in much the same way while the cable car will not impact on the beautiful site of the Malvern Hills, at least no more than a footpath does. However the stranglehold of the Conservators I feel will kill this plan off. They refuse to move with the times and while protecting the hills will allow a beautiful town to turn into a ghost town blighting the side of their precious hills. Jojogabor
  • Score: 1

3:26pm Wed 12 Feb 14

nederlander says...

asd
asd nederlander
  • Score: 0

3:37pm Wed 12 Feb 14

nederlander says...

I am not sure if a cable car would be the way to go about something like the Malvern Hills. I moved here from The Netherlands years ago and I feel the beauty of the countryside is something to treasure. As much as I agree with the person above that for elderly people or people who wouldn't have access to the hills without these, there are alternatives as well.

What Malvern is lacking in my opinion is events around the town. You can use the existing trails for a mountain biking event, you could easily put on a stage of the road cycling Tour of Britain with some great climbs and beautiful scenery, there is room for pop festival or a food market, etc. The location is ideal, the setting is great, but I always feel Malvern never really puts all the effort in, perhaps due to budget or health and safety.

With local business disappearing and the likes of Ask, Iceland and Wilkinson taking over the hot spots, there will be less budget from local business to put anything on and that is certainly a shame.
I am not sure if a cable car would be the way to go about something like the Malvern Hills. I moved here from The Netherlands years ago and I feel the beauty of the countryside is something to treasure. As much as I agree with the person above that for elderly people or people who wouldn't have access to the hills without these, there are alternatives as well. What Malvern is lacking in my opinion is events around the town. You can use the existing trails for a mountain biking event, you could easily put on a stage of the road cycling Tour of Britain with some great climbs and beautiful scenery, there is room for pop festival or a food market, etc. The location is ideal, the setting is great, but I always feel Malvern never really puts all the effort in, perhaps due to budget or health and safety. With local business disappearing and the likes of Ask, Iceland and Wilkinson taking over the hot spots, there will be less budget from local business to put anything on and that is certainly a shame. nederlander
  • Score: 1

5:58pm Sun 16 Feb 14

M@lvernite says...

I would have thought it far more effective to attract visitors to the town centre by making it more appealing to them, rather than trying to shoehorn them in using a gimmick such as a cable car.
As stated in the article a million people a year already come to enjoy the natural beauty of the hills which seems to demonstrate that a cable car on the hills is unnecessary, and if anything would be counter-productive.
I would have thought it far more effective to attract visitors to the town centre by making it more appealing to them, rather than trying to shoehorn them in using a gimmick such as a cable car. As stated in the article a million people a year already come to enjoy the natural beauty of the hills which seems to demonstrate that a cable car on the hills is unnecessary, and if anything would be counter-productive. M@lvernite
  • Score: 1

6:43pm Sun 16 Feb 14

AlisonP01 says...

Could someone involved in putting this idea forward please get a grip on reality? The Malvern Hills are magnificent but for those of us who live here and perhaps feel that Mobile Phone masts are an eyesore, what do you think the impact of cable car towers would be? Their presence would blight our area of outstanding natural beauty. I can think of better things on which to spend £6 million pounds.

Secondly, I loathe snobbish comments about businesses such as Iceland, Ask, Wilkinson and in the past, comments about Charity shops. If fraught financial situations haven't touched some individuals then they can count themselves lucky. A large section of the population is struggling and all these stores offer a real lifeline, employment opportunities, and play their part in attracting footfall traffic to Malvern town.
Could someone involved in putting this idea forward please get a grip on reality? The Malvern Hills are magnificent but for those of us who live here and perhaps feel that Mobile Phone masts are an eyesore, what do you think the impact of cable car towers would be? Their presence would blight our area of outstanding natural beauty. I can think of better things on which to spend £6 million pounds. Secondly, I loathe snobbish comments about businesses such as Iceland, Ask, Wilkinson and in the past, comments about Charity shops. If fraught financial situations haven't touched some individuals then they can count themselves lucky. A large section of the population is struggling and all these stores offer a real lifeline, employment opportunities, and play their part in attracting footfall traffic to Malvern town. AlisonP01
  • Score: 0

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