Derbyshire culture project awarded more than £1m

Derbyshire is to receive an award of £1,285,800 from Arts Council England and Heritage Lottery Fund’s Great Place scheme that will embed the arts, culture and heritage within the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site.

The project entitled VITAL VALLEY: A creative future for Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site is led by Derbyshire County Council and will reignite interest in the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage site  as a visitor attraction.

Local artists and communities will help shape activities by working in partnership with cultural organisations, local authorities and businesses.

Derwent Valley Mills site covers a large stretch of the Derwent Valley, from Matlock Bath to Derby city centre.

The site hosts mill complexes, settlements including workers’ houses and the transport network that supported the mills in the valley, as well as hundreds of listed buildings. 

Peter Knott, Area Director, Midlands, Arts Council England said: “Art and culture make the places we live vibrant and exciting, entertaining and inspiring us, benefiting our wellbeing and boosting local economies. It will be great to see this project embed arts, culture and heritage within the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site attracting more visitors to Derbyshire.”

Adam Lathbury, Head of Conservation, Heritage and Design, Derbyshire County Council said: “We were thrilled to receive this 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.”

Many of the individual projects will be shaped by local people, artists and practitioners working together in partnership to build new audiences and strengthen engagement including advocacy programmes, research and training and creative commissioning schemes.

The partnership compromises of D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership, East Midlands Chamber and Derbyshire Health Board as well as other cultural organisations, local authorities and businesses.

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