World Heritage Site restoration project gets royal seal of approval

Cromford School pupils in period dress to welcome the Duke of Gloucester to Cromford Mill
Cromford School pupils in period dress to welcome the Duke of Gloucester to Cromford Mill
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An iconic Matlock building, which has recently been restored and brought back into use, has received a royal visit.

HRH The Duke of Gloucester visited Cromford Mills for a tour of the new £6.7million Cromford Creative workspace and the Gateway information hub, a new visitor centre for the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site.

He was welcomed by children from Cromford Primary school in period costume, Arkwright Society chief executive Sarah McLeod and chairman David Williams, before being escorted to on a tour of the building.

Sarah said: “Being at the heart of the industrial revolution, Building 17 at Cromford Creative is one of the most culturally important buildings in the region.

“Now it will continue the sense of entrepreneurialism, innovation and creativity that characterised Arkwright’s mills.”

The duke was introduced to contractors and architects for the scheme, along with members of staff and tenants, before unveiling a commemorative plaque to mark the occasion.

Cromford Creative represents the first phase of the society’s £50m regeneration and restoration masterplan for Cromford Mills, transforming the complex into a multi-use destination for heritage, cultural, tourism and business.

Cromford Creative, which opened in March, has introduced 17 flexible office units spread over 8,000 square feet the historic Grade I listed building.

The new visitor information hub is housed on the ground floor of the building with state-of-the-art facilities, attractions and guides to the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site.

Sarah added: “The building will continue the entrepreneurialism, innovation and creativity that characterised Arkwright’s mills and we look forward to showcasing the results of years of hard work by so many people.”

The projects were made possible by funds raised mainly by the Arkwright Society, the Heritage Lottery Fund and the European Regional Development Fund.