We are delighted to announce substantial funding from The National Lottery Heritage Fund and the Duke of Devonshire Charitable Trust which will greatly help the Arkwright Society as it continues to conserve and regenerate Cromford Mills and to develop the site as a major visitor attraction in Derbyshire.
Thanks to this generous funding the Society will deliver a number of initiatives to ensure that Cromford Mills becomes an even greater attraction for visitors, local businesses and the wider community and a place that people can enjoy and celebrate its history.
A £249,599 grant from the Heritage Fund, made possible thanks to National Lottery players, will support staff in activities to engage more widely with people through learning and education about our site and our ambitions for its development. Sustainability is also a key theme for the Society, highlighted by the forthcoming installation of a turbine powered water wheel in one of the historic wheel pits at Cromford Mills.
Our supporting Events programme will create a more diverse and fun experience, whether this is welcoming our four-legged friends at our annual Dog Show to the increasingly popular and free Adventure Weekend at the end of August and the spectacular Shine A Light Festival in October, celebrating the wonder of this heritage site. Our ‘Highlighting Heritage’ programme will provide a series of fascinating heritage talks on numerous topics such as Cromford Mills Uncovered to the History of the Derwent Valley line.
Critical to the long term sustainability of the site is the next phase of regeneration at Cromford Mills, which will focus on the repair and repurposing of the remaining buildings on the site, in particular the iconic ‘First Mill’ built by Sir Richard Arkwright in 1771. With £20,000 match funding from the Duke of Devonshire Charitable Trust, a refreshed masterplan will be commissioned, with a clear roadmap for the continuing regeneration of the Mills and a business plan for their future use. This work will help the Society make informed decisions as it writes the next exciting chapter of the Cromford Mills story.
Eilis Scott, Chief Executive Officer, said: “The Arkwright Society is immensely grateful for the ongoing support from National Lottery players and The National Lottery Heritage Fund and the Duke of Devonshire Charitable Trust. This funding will help make the Society more resilient and deliver a bright and innovative future. Cromford Mills is a very special place within the Derwent Valley World Heritage Site and we want to continue sharing and celebrating the Mils and their stories with all our visitors and local businesses.
This funding will give us greater confidence and resource to develop educational activities and plans, particularly for conservation and sustainability, with our local schools and communities; which is at the heart of what the Arkwright Society is all about”.
Cromford Mills were built in the 1770s and 1780s by Sir Richard Arkwright and the Arkwright Society has gone from strength to strength since the Society purchased the industrial heritage site in 1979. The Charity continues to deliver its long-term restoration and economic plans building on those which have produced the multi-use heritage site that can be seen today.
Cromford Mills welcomes visitors seven days a week throughout the year with exciting events, tours, cafes and independent retail shops. Visitors can meet Sir Richard Arkwright in his ‘First Mill’ and discover the captivating story of how the Derwent Valley shaped the world we know today.
Plan your visit at cromfordmills.org.uk