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Young Entrepreneurs

Inspired by the WHS

Fantastic digital creations and amazing ceramic pieces have been hot off the ‘factory production line’ for the first groups in the Young Entrepreneurs Great Place Scheme Project.

Young people from Chesterfield College Digital courses and the Alfreton Study Programme Arts specialism have been working with creative artists to be inspired by the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site.

Drawing from the rich heritage of the site as a hotbed for invention, creativity, manufacturing and production the young people on the project, led by Derbyshire Environmental Studies Service, have been finding out what makes a World Heritage Site and why the Derwent Valley Mills was inscribed on this special international list.

Working in small ‘company groups’ the young people have developed business skills, team work, co-operation, met deadlines and responded creatively to their site of choice – Strutt’s North Mill in Belper.

With the support of digital expert Sharlaine Fincham, Chesterfield College students created a range of products including app based quizzes, virtual environments , 3-D printed bookmarks and key rings all inspired by their visit to the site. The students had to pitch their company products to a panel of heritage and creative experts and site staff and were scored as to which would most likely be procured for use on site.

Alfreton students produced impressive digital creations and amazing ceramic pieces under the watchful eye of professional ceramic artist Elaine Lin-Newton. Products included badges, magnets, coasters and tiles inspired by the water, machinery, waterwheels, textures, stone mason marks and surrounding landscapes explored on their site visit. The ceramic companies sold their items on a stall testing their entrepreneurial skills – giving Strutt and Arkwright a run for their money!

From September more groups will be forming companies to be inspired by the amazing heritage of the DVMWHS. Keep your eye out for more creative manufacturing including screen printing and graphic design.

Georgina Greaves from Derbyshire Environmental Studies Service who has been leading the project said, “This has been a fantastic way of supporting young people to take pride in their local heritage, explore using a world heritage site as a source of inspiration and creativity and develop really important employability skills that will set them up to be the enterprising entrepreneurs of the future”.

Find out more about this project here.

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