Contact Us

Huge turnout for anniversary event

of World Heritage Site
15th Anniversary Event
Huge turnout for anniversary event

The Derwent Valley Mills Team, who organised the big 15th anniversary celebration for the East Midlands’ only World Heritage Site, were amazed at the turnout on Saturday (11th March).

Over 1,000 visitors dropped in to the event at the Strutts Centre in Belper, to see stalls and activities representing organisations and community groups from the whole of the 15-mile long Derwent Valley Mills Site.

In all, 40 organisations were represented at the event, spread across 53 stalls in five big rooms.

“The building was buzzing with people from before we opened at 11am until after we officially closed at 4pm,” said Councillor Ellie Willcox, who chairs the World Heritage Site Steering Group, and cut a cake to get the day’s activities underway.

“It was so rewarding to see so many people enjoying themselves and saying so many positive things about the Derwent Valley Mills and their communities.”

Across the day, over 200 people tried the nine short talks and two walks around Belper Town Centre, delivered by World Heritage volunteers.

Many more found out about the various projects completed over the past 15 years, being progressed now or in the planning stages.

“The Strutt Centre even ran out of refreshments and had to restock,” said Ellie. “That shows how busy we were – busier than we could ever have imagined.”

Introduced at the event was Adam Lathbury, who now heads the World Heritage Site team.

Adam has had 14 years’ experience of working on conservation in the World Heritage Site. He said: “Although I’m very familiar with the Derwent Valley Mills, this was my first chance to meet some of those many dedicated volunteers that make the Site such a success.

“Nearly 100 people gave their time and energy to help make the day so memorable, and I know many more work tirelessly to promote, conserve and research the World Heritage Site throughout the year.”

Back to top