A CHARITY group working to improve a remote Yorkshire Dales village is set to open a new visitor centre which it hopes will encourage people to find out more about its past.

The Keld Resource Centre, a charity made up of local people, has taken on a number of historic but empty buildings in the small village of Keld, in Upper Swaledale, with an eye to making them commercially viable.

The organisation is planning an open day on May 14 to celebrate the official opening of its latest project, the Keld Countryside and Heritage Visitor Centre, in the centre of the village.

The visitor centre aims to explain the history of the village, which was once a thriving part of the lead mining industry, but which now has less than 20 houses.

The village is a popular stop for walkers as it sits across both the Pennine Way and the Coast to Coast Walk.

Clive Davies, secretary of the group, said he hopes that visitors to the centre will see a different side to Keld.

"At the moment when people come to Keld there is not a great deal for them to do while they are here," he said.

"The visitor centre will mean that they can find out about the village and its history and also about our way of life. Keld is one of the few places left in the dales that is still connected to the traditional way of life."

The charity was able to secure funding for the project from the Yorkshire Dales Leader programme and local fundraising.

As well as the visitor centre, the group have also refurbished an old church Manse, which is now a popular holiday let, with proceeds going towards the other projects in the village.

The open day will start at 10.30am on May 14 and will feature local flora and fauna walks, a talk about the history of the village school and a performance by Muker Silver Band.

The organisation is also looking for volunteers to help run the visitor centre and talk to guests about the village and its history.

For more information email Mr Davies at clive@clivedaviesassociates.com