Meet the Cromford Mills Team
As Chief Executive, Simon is tasked with leading the Arkwright Society and Cromford Mills into the next phase of the Master Plan.
Simon’s business experience has been in the retail industry where he has worked for several national chains, such as Laura Ashley and Body Shop before starting his own retail business.
Simon started the De Bradelei Mill stores in the late nineties and built the business from an idea to a £15 million turnover business with six outlets around the country. The business grew to employ over 150 staff. The first store in Belper was the former Brettles’ Hosiery factory, which was a grade 2 listed building that had been founded by the Strutt family. Much of the building was not being utilised and undeveloped when found, and the De Bradelei business brought the former hosiery mill back in to use.
The template for the business was to take interesting buildings, which were undeveloped or underutilised and bring them back in to use as retail outlets. This was done with Mill sites in Melton Mowbray, Kidderminster and Nottingham, while in Dover, former historic boat sheds were converted into Kent’s first factory outlet.
It was during this time that Simon started to take an interest in Derbyshire’s industrial history and developed an understanding of how important the Derwent valley, the textile industry and the technology it developed was and how it influenced the world we live in today.
He is delighted to be able to join the Arkwright Society team and help the Society to grow and develop further over the coming years.
Debbie heads our busy accounts department.
Simon is responsible for operational aspects of running the site, and managing our Tenant offer.
Hannah oversees our volunteer programme and visitor offer and is particulary responsible for ensuring that the history of Cromford Mills is interpreted and accurate.
Amy manages the picturesque Wheatcroft’s Wharf Café at Cromford Canal.
Courtney organises and promotes our Events Programme.
Michael is developing a new range of resources and programmes for schools and colleges.
Jo provides secretarial, administrative and human resource support to the Arkwright Society.
Sam is our Receptionist/Office Assistant and Digital Apprentice. He divides his time between Cromford Creative and the Arkwright Society office, and is focusing on raising our online profile as part of his apprenticeship.