Formerly a lock house, it was converted in 2010/11 thanks to a government grant of £385,000 under the Community Assets Programme and now boasts a coffee shop, a meeting and education room, a play and picnic area, shower and toilets. It also serves as an archive and office base for the Chesterfield Canal Trust. With many local facilities closed due to financial cuts, the Hub has filled a much-needed gap in the area. Its flexible space lends itself to a wide variety of different uses. The meeting room is used by schools, crèches and playgroups. It is available from early morning until late evening so social events, training courses and night school classes are also easily accommodated.

The Hollingwood Hub site is owned by Derbyshire County Council, who supervised the renovation and construction, and it is run by the Chesterfield Canal Trust. It is conveniently located on the Chesterfield Canal towpath (which also forms part of the Trans Pennine Trail), attracting some 55,000 walkers and 30,000 cyclists each year, as well as anglers and canoeists. Many of them call at the Hub for coffee, for information about the canal or for volunteering opportunities. Meanwhile, the garden is being developed by local volunteers and school children. Benches, picnic tables and cycle racks have already made this an inviting area for all.

Hollingwood Hub has brought amazing benefits to an area that had come to regard itself as being as derelict as the industry it once overlooked. Within days of opening, local teenagers were employed and being trained in the coffee shop. Within
months, the three-year target for visitor numbers had been met.

Robin Stonebridge, Chair of the Chesterfield Canal Trust