Get Cromford's Wheels Turning
Letter from Sarah McLeod
Get Cromford’s Wheels Turning!
The mill complex at Cromford has been described as the most important preserved textile heritage site in the world, as shown by its World Heritage Site status. It is from these buildings that Sir Richard Arkwright developed technology that changed the world we live in, giving rise to the industrial revolution by creating the modern factory system.
Following half a century of dilapidation, dereliction and contamination the site has over the past three decades been rescued by the Arkwright Society saving it from demolition and secured Grade I listing and World Heritage status for the mill complex.
But today Cromford Mills faces its greatest challenge to date.
Over half of the site at Cromford still remains derelict and in order for the Arkwright Society to continue to maintain and manage these important buildings, it MUST become self-sustaining. Despite considerable improvements to the site and the Society’s commercial activities over the last 3 years, ever increasing costs continue to put huge pressure on the Society’s bid to secure and consolidate its financial position. Sustainability will only be possible if we increase the income streams into the site by developing the largest building, known as Building 17, to create a world-class visitor centre and creative industries hub, firmly putting Cromford and the wider Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site on the tourist and business map.
This project will at last allow the site to become self supporting, but in order to reach this milestone in the site’s development we must overcome two major financial challenges: closing the remaining funding gap so that the Building 17 project can commence, whilst at the same time raising enough funds to ensure we can meet our annual obligations to UNESCO to maintain and improve the site for future generations during the three year period B17 is being developed.
Time is now running out.
For Building 17, we have already raised over £3 million, with a further £1 million earmarked, but work cannot commence until the entire funding gap has been closed. The Society must raise the final £250,000 in order to be able to proceed with the project
In order to meet our commitments between now and spring 2014 when the Gateway is due to open, we need to raise an additional £200,000.
In austere times this is a huge challenge but the site cannot be allowed to fail when it is so close to securing its own long term future.
The project has the support of many partner organisations nationally and locally, including Derbyshire County Council which says: “The Arkwright Society shares the County Council’s ambition; it has a clear vision, widespread public support, and has demonstrated its ability to deliver. It is critical therefore that the Society continues to be able to make a full contribution to delivering the vision that is shared by so many partners, and on which local communities depend.”
There is a bright light at the end of the tunnel for Cromford Mills and the communities it supports, but this will not be reached without your help.
Please donate to our fundraising campaign by:-
- Sending a cheque or postal order made payable to the “Arkwright Society Fundraising Campaign” and return in our FREEPOST envelope enclosed, courtesy of the University of Derby.
- You can make payment directly from your own bank to the Arkwright Society Ltd, Lloyds TSB Bank, account no 07265525, Sort Code 30-90-25.
- You can now donate online using your debit/credit cards through BT Mydonate - a free online giving service provided by British Telecommunications (part of BT’s contribution to the community) - https://mydonate.bt.com/charities/thearkwrightsociety
Donors who provide £250 or more will receive special recognition with their names etched into our wall of support within the Gateway building.