Banks Mill Studios stage open weekend

Banks Mill Studios, the University of Derby’s incubation centre for creative industries is celebrating its 20th anniversary this month.

Over the past two decades, Banks Mill has supported more than 382 businesses, 135 of which were gradutes of  the University of Derby.

The building, which now supports 72 creatives, was officially opened in October 1999 by Dr Michael Porter, a renowned UK and international artist who has won numerous major awards, including an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Derby. 

As part of the celebrations for this milestone anniversary there will be an Open Studios event from November 22-24, where you can to see work from over 50 different artists, designers, makers and creative services providers. 

Karen Holland, co-ordinator at Banks Mill, said: “At the event you can find out how our artists create their unique designs and products as well as buy original work, something that can’t be experienced on the high street. 

“To keep our youngest visitors engaged we also have an arts trail for them to follow too.” 

You can also meet creative service businesses to discuss how they can work with you.  

One artist you can meet is Magdalena Aron who has recently moved into Banks Mill running Minoan Mosaic Studio.  With a background in ceramics, a BA (Hons) degree and teaching experience Magdalena will be offering
all-ability workshops and classes in mosaic art for adults and children from her new studio.

Melanie Dawes is also another new artist to the studios. Melanie is in the early stages of her new business making bespoke headbands.  

After having several requests from friends for her designs she decided to take the plunge and now has her own studio running Lillie Rose Accessories.

Such is the diversity within the Mill, you can also meet Alexey Morozov, who came to the UK from Latvia in 2014 to study at the University of Derby.  A young and vibrant fashion designer, Alexey combines creative talent with the development of a variety of materials to create his collections.

The studios, formerly a rope and tarpaulin factory owned by the Banks family, are open on November 22 from 5pm-8pm and November 23 and 24 from 10am-5pm. 

To find out more go to