Contact Us

Funding for Derwent Valley Mills

Great Place Scheme
Belper Mills Great Place Scheme
Funding for Derwent Valley Mills

Over £1m has been secured for Derbyshire’s Derwent Valley Mills – the only World Heritage Site in the East Midlands region.

The money is being given through the new Great Place Scheme, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Arts Council England and Historic England.

Derbyshire County Council will have until March 2020 to deliver the 23 projects which make up ‘Vital Valley’, a programme designed to inspire and enable people to have a sense of pride in and belonging to the World Heritage Site.

Vital Valley’s activities will include volunteer training, digital projects, improving accessibility, learning programmes, marketing, engaging with new audiences, expanding the award-winning Belper Ambassador Scheme to other areas, and public realm works in Darley Abbey, Milford and Belper.

In all, £1,285,800 has been awarded with match funding identified from the World Heritage Site and its partners.

Adam Lathbury, Head of the County Council’s Conservation, Heritage and Design Service (which includes the World Heritage Site team) said: “We were thrilled to hear the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site has been successful in its bid for Great Places funding.

“As the birth place of the modern factory system, which ushered in the industrial age, the Derwent Valley Mills were inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 2001.

“Great strides have been made in managing, conserving and promoting the 15-mile long site in that time. The Great Places scheme now gives us an opportunity, through heritage and the arts, to enrich that offer, and help people locally, and from across the region, to identify with the Site, take pride in it and actively get involved with the next stage of its development.”

Councillor Ellie Wilcox, who chairs the World Heritage Site Steering Group, said: “This commits us to delivering 23 projects over three years.

“We have a range of priorities which address audience development, business engagement, the built environment and sustainability. The Vital Valley projects directly address these in exciting ways, from advocacy programmes, research and training to creative commissioning schemes.”

The Great Places Scheme is funding 16 projects across the UK, in areas where there is a commitment to embed arts, culture and heritage in local plans and decision-making. By strengthening the networks between culture, civic and community organisations, and by involving citizens and local businesses, projects will enhance the role that culture plays in the future of each place participating in the Scheme. In time this will lead to the wide range of social and economic benefits that arts, culture and heritage can achieve.

For more details contact the DVMWHS Heritage Co-ordinator, Adrian Farmer on 01629 536830 ( or DVMWHS Development Co-ordinator, Sukie Khaira on 01626 536833 (

Back to top