Amber Valley Swiss Tea Rooms partnership with Vaillant celebrated at Derbyshire Historic Buildings Trust Ceremony

Renovation, redevelopment and restoration work at Amber Valley Swiss Tea Rooms has been celebrated with two architectural accolades.

Hailed as enhancing the “cultural richness of the borough”, the redeveloped Swiss Tea Rooms at Belper River Gardens has now been recognised with two commendations at the fourth annual Derbyshire Historic Buildings Trust Awards.

Standing in a location that is steeped in history, the project for Amber Valley Borough Council has been carried out in partnership with Belper-based Vaillant Group.

Councillor Chris Emmas-Williams, Leader at Amber Valley Borough Council, who attended the awards ceremony alongside Deputy Leader, Councillor Emma Monkman, said: "The Green Flag award-winning Belper River Gardens was already a picturesque haven, and it’s been further enhanced by the new Swiss Tea Rooms.

"The accolades received at the Derbyshire Historic Buildings Trust Awards underscores the commitment of Amber Valley Borough Council to preserving and revitalising historical landmarks, contributing to the cultural richness of the borough".

The tea rooms were recognised at the event in two prominent categories - 'Restoration of a Historic Garden or Landscape' and 'Contemporary Building in a Historic Setting.'

Situated within the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site, the Tea Rooms have been a cherished part of Belper River Gardens since 1906. However, they fell into disrepair in 1981. The ambitious redevelopment project, initiated in September 2019, involved the demolition of the dilapidated structure and the unveiling of the new Swiss tea rooms in Easter 2022.

The unveiled modern design paid homage to the original building and retained key features such as the large hipped roof and veranda. Environmental and design impact was key in the works, with glulam beams used and expansive glazing, which ensured the structure seamlessly retained the charm of the past and blended it with contemporary aesthetics. Of course, also taking full advantage of the breath taking views of the River Derwent.

Further noteworthy environmentally friendly features were integrated into the site, including an air source heat pump generously supplied by Belper-based Vaillant Group. This addition helped achieve a high energy efficiency 'A' rated EPC for the facility, helping the council with its aim to be carbon neutral by 2030.

Councillor Emma Monkman said: "The awards ceremony was a fantastic evening, and I want to thank Derbyshire Historic Buildings Trust for their dedication. I am incredibly proud of the exceptional work carried out at the Swiss Tea Rooms, and I extend my gratitude to everyone involved. This recognition is a testament to the collaborative effort that has revitalised this historical gem."

The awards ceremony, which showcased exemplary architectural achievements across the county, was held at the Assembly Rooms at Buxton Crescent, with awards presented by renowned architectural historian and writer, Jeremy Musson.

The full list of entrants, commendations, and winners is published on the Derbyshire Historic Buildings Trust website at

Pictured left to right: Paul Marshall-Day - Buildings & Open Spaces Manager at Amber Valley Borough Council, Councillor Emma Monkman - Deputy Leader at Amber Valley Borough Council, Chloe Underwood - Supervisor at Belper Tea Rooms, Councillor Chris Emmas-Williams - Leader of Amber Valley Borough Council, Sarah England - PR Manager at Vaillant Group UK Ltd.

Pictured above: Full Council meeting held in December 2023 - Council Leader, Councillor Chris Emmas-Williams presenting the award to the Amber Valley Mayor, Councillor Tony Holmes.

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