Joint Statement – The Arkwright Society and Belper North Mill Trust reach an historic agreement for the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site

The Arkwright Society and Belper North Mill Trust have agreed to share space with the Arkwright Society at Cromford Mills so that together they can best display the industrial heritage story of the Arkwright and the Strutt Families and enhance the visitor experience at Cromford to illustrate that heritage to a world class standard.

The primary area to be shared is the ground floor of ‘Building 1’ at the entrance to Cromford Mills, to display existing and new interpretative material and house some historic machinery from the Belper Museum. Another area to be shared is in Cromford Creative which serves as an introduction to films on Arkwright and Strutt. The area in Cromford Creative which describes the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site and provides historic timelines to this story will remain as it is; it is an excellent introduction to Richard Arkwright and Jedediah Strutt who are portrayed in the two films.

The Volunteers from Belper and Cromford will become a single management team led by the Arkwright Society and they will work together to agree how best the stories of those two great ‘entrepreneurs’ and their families can be told and how our visitor tours can be remodelled using our tour guides from both organisations.

Belper North Mill Trust will retain some space at Belper to maintain a local presence and a focal point for tours relating to Belper. It will continue to aspire to having a world class visitor centre at Belper, and will work with the Arkwright Society to restore the historic ‘First Mill’ at Cromford and bring it back into use as an Industrial Heritage Museum. The Museum will tell the story of the Arkwrights and Strutts and their unique contribution to the industrial revolution in the Derwent Valley in the 18th Century and the history of their families thereafter.

The Trusts will collaborate on developing shared educational programmes for schoolchildren, students and the public and encouraging the interest and engagement of the local community.

Together, and for the well-being of both Trusts, we want to create a major historical tourist attraction which provides a world class industrial heritage museum about the Arkwrights and Strutts with daily public access to historic equipment, artefacts, archives and interpretative material sufficient for us to achieve accredited museum status.

John Rivers                                                                                          John Layton
Chair                                                                                                      Chair
Arkwright Society                                                                               Belper North Mill Trust

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Posted on
September 15, 2022