Located in the Derwent Valley countryside, Belper is the world’s first Cotton Mill town. From history and heritage to the town centre of the modern day, the area has something to offer everyone.
Walk the streets of the factory community created by the Strutt family for their mill workers from the 1780s. See the rows of terraced housing, a nail maker’s workshop and much more. Take a stroll around Belper town centre and discover independent shops, unusual products, friendly service and a range of eateries offering a true high street experience.
While in Belper take a look in De Bradelei Mill on Chapel Street where you can see the impressive building once used by major hosiery producer George Brettle and Company.
Did you know that Belper was selected both as the Winner of the Market Town Category and the ‘Winner of Winners’ in late 2014, the first Great British High Street Awards? There were over 135 entries for the Awards and to be crowned as the winning entry – the Great British High Street of the Year – when faced with such tough competition is a fantastic achievement and the judges were delighted that the town’s successes have now been recognised nationally as well as locally.
The judges were particularly impressed with the scale of involvement and collaboration from the community and local businesses in Belper, best demonstrated through the Belper Ambassador Scheme – one of the training schemes for businesses developed and run by the World Heritage Site team.
Belper is the world's first Cotton Mill town. It was here that Jedediah Strutt and his sons began their cotton mill business in 1776, and to encourage families to move into Belper to work in their mills, they built housing close by, nearly all of which have survived.