The Engine Yard will bring food, fashion and a garden centre to the Belvoir estate.
Its restoration is nearing completion with estate bosses next week recruiting tenants for the 12,000 sq ft of prime retail space that was converted from Victorian buildings. Some tenancies are in place already.
However, a “fabulous” two storey cafe and luxury fashion store will be operated by the estate itself.
The cafe will have an upstairs restaurant which will double up as an area for a calendar of demonstrations and events, including planned monthly dining evenings with guest celebrity chefs.
The Duchess of Rutland (Emma Manners) said: “We are really keen to find an in-house chef who specialises in foraging. Someone who we can entrust with the whole ethos of what we are delivering at the Engine Yard, bringing their own expertise which we particularly want to include foraging. It will be a wonderful opportunity for the right person.”
The Duchess is keen that the chef will encourage visitors to learn about foraging, using herbs, mushrooms and other foods found growing on the estate and elsewhere in the wild.
She said: “The chef can take people through the estate foraging and then demonstrate how to cook meals from that. We want to embrace it.”
Other attractions are also promised at the restored engine yard, including a spa and cycle hire centre.
The Duchess continued: “It will become an area of excellence for food and drink but the pride and joy, sitting in the middle of it, will be the three-storey Duchess’ Gallery – embracing a unique collection of country and fashion clothing, accessories and gifts from luxury brands as well as upcoming British designers.
“We want to offer a new and somewhat different experience. The whole of the engine yard will be vivacious and lively.
“We will have a full calendar of events throughout the year. We are planning pop-up craft and seasonal fairs and weekly visits from a variety of farmers markets.
“We are talking to experts in the dog world for demonstrations of dog behaviour and discipline.
“It’s a very large investment from the Belvoir estate to create a wonderful destination for local people and people from far and wide.”
The Idle Mole garden centre will open Easter Weekend, with the rest of Engine Yard opening on May 4.