Historic mill to be brought back to life after 35 years

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After standing empty for nearly 35 years, one of Cromford’s most historic mills is to be brought back to life with a £4.5 million investment.

The five-storey mill, known as Building 17, will feature a visitor gateway on the ground floor, with upper floors being transformed into office space – which will be rented out to businesses.

The project promises a much-needed boost to the local economy too, as the 18-month building contract will secure a number of construction jobs and apprentice placements.

The Arkwright Society – who own the Grade I Listed site – have spent four years raising funds for the project which, in addition to the capital works, will incorporate an extensive new activity programme – including events, education programmes and volunteering projects.

Sarah McLeod, chief executive, said: “I am incredibly proud of the team that has worked so tirelessly over recent years to bring this funding package together.”

Building 17, built by Sir Richard Arkwright, is the largest on the site and was originally a cotton warehouse, before later being used as a paint factory by the Cromford Colour Works.

Considered to be at risk by English Heritage, it has been used only for storing materials during the past 35 years.

Cllr Andrew Lewer, Leader of Derbyshire County Council, said: “This project will boost the local economy, improve the enjoyment of visitors to the Derwent Valley, and conserve the site for future generations”.