Following the closure of the railway line in the early 60’s the Lake began a period of decline in popularity and little or no investment was forthcoming to improve the public facilities.
Several lakeside properties were in a derelict condition; many having being built in the early 1900’s following the sale of Cliffe Park Estate, by the mid 90’s however, in part thanks to The Rudyard Lake Trust, the Lake was beginning to show an increase in popularity once again. People were perhaps again beginning to appreciate what was on their doorstep?
Several of the plots were put on the market and achieved both planning permissions and a good profit for their vendors, the original chalets being demolished and either executive style houses or Scandinavian style lodges being built to replace them, many with the intention of hiring out their property to tourists and thus gaining a regular income for their owners.
The western shoreline properties are now almost all less than 15 years old many with the modern tourist requisites of hot tubs, boats and BBQ’s, to say nothing of mood lighting! A far cry from the wooden sheds of old?
The Rudyard Lake Trust agreed a lease for The Earl of Macclesfield boathouse on the eastern shore at the southern end of the lake in 2004 with the then British Waterways.
This boathouse is certainly one of the oldest on the lake being constructed in the 1850’s for The Earl of Macclesfield who owned considerable amounts of land and farms off to the East of the Lake. By 2008 work commenced to restore it to its original condition with a stepped gable to the front elevation, a new roof and an interior depicting the boating history of the Lake.
The Rudyard Lake Sailing Club having constructed their new clubhouse, opened by HRH Princess Anne in 2003, have now further developed their site by building a specialist storeroom building for their safety boats.
Following many years of support, uncertainty, dispute and finally agreement, Rudyard Sailability, with it’s origins from the Rudyard Lake Sailing Club have now constructed a purpose built property in the bay as tenants of The Rudyard Lake Trust on the western shore close to the public slipway to provide specialist facilities for sailors with a disability. Both the Sailing Club and Sailability are approved by the RYA (Royal Yachting Association) for providing facilities for disabled sailors.
The Rudyard Lake Trust is concerned that the Lake could become over developed in the name of progress, which in today’s terms locally often relates to tourism in planning terms. The Trust believes that the lake currently has something of an acceptable maximised balance between a necessary commercialism in order to both attract and satisfy the public demands and to pay the overheads, weighed against the natural environment and the lake’s capability to provide shelter, food and breeding grounds for many species of birds and wildlife including the fish within the lake.