CGI brings Arkwright back from the dead for launch of new-look Cromford Mills

The new Gateway information hub at Cromford Mills. Photo contributed.
The new Gateway information hub at Cromford Mills. Photo contributed.

The wonders of CGI technology are bringing the ‘wow’ factor to the new-look Cromford Mills.

Sir Richard Arkwright is back from the dead as he welcomes the crowds and talks about his life and legacy.

The CGI experience is being unveiled as part of the Heritage Lottery Fund-supported restoration of the site which sees it become the designated starting point for the whole of the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site - the 15-mile stretch of historical mill complexes and industrial landscape that snakes through the stunning Derbyshire countryside to its southern most attractions, the Derby Silk Mill and Joseph Wright Gallery.

It will get its official launch on March 10.

A new, state-of-the-art Gateway information hub is housed on the ground floor of Cromford Mill’s new, four-storey Cromford Creative business centre.

Ground-breaking techniques were developed to clean the building of contaminants left over from its previous industrial use, techniques it is hoped might be applied elsewhere to save other historic buildings blighted in a similar way.

The Gateway will allow visitors to find out exactly what there is to see and do at each of the 17 designated sites contained within the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site and be the start of their journey of discovery.

The new attractions build on the site’s development as a successful heritage destination over the past 30 years - one that already attracts 100,000 visitors per year.

Sarah McLeod, Cromford Mills chief executive, said: “We are working towards the Cromford Mills brand becoming a ‘jewel in the crown’ of tourism in the region and who better to welcome visitors than the man himself - Sir Richard Arkwright!

“We are already an established destination but the coming months will begin to see the potential of this amazing site truly be realised.”