Local economy - development

The Darley Abbey Regeneration Strategy

The Regeneration Strategy for the Darley Abbey (part one and part two) is part of the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site. It aims to provide a way of realising the full tourism and economic potential of the area to secure its long-term future.

We carried out a number of studies to inform the Strategy, which makes recommendations for new uses and continued use at Darley Abbey Mills and Darley Abbey Parks Stable block. These include proposals for environmental improvements, alleviation of flood risk, traffic and parking issues.

What areas will be affected by the regeneration strategy?

There are two main parts in Derby:

  • the Silk Mill
  • Darley Abbey Mills site in Darley Abbey village, including the Stable Block and parkland of the former Darley Hall.

The Mills and Stables are run down and underused. Over the past 20 to 30 years, there has been no common vision or aims for the complex. This has led to a lack of direction and no significant investment from the public or private sector.

The Darley Abbey Mills properties (including over 150,000 square foot of floor space) are all privately owned and include Grade I and II listed buildings. We owns the Stables Block, which is Grade II listed and in a very poor state of repair; this will be tackled through the implementation of this strategy.

Why do we want to regenerate the Darley Abbey area?

All elements of the strategy have previously been identified in the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site's Economic Development Plan, Management Plan and the Council's 10-year Action Plan. The project is needed to secure the long-term future of these listed buildings (many are Grade I and II) and to make the most of the potential of the World Heritage Site in terms of tourism and economic development.

Why is the site so important?

The World Heritage Site is internationally important for two reasons:

  • The valley witnessed the start of the factory system in the country, new types of building were built to house the new technology for spinning cotton developed by Richard Arkwright. For the first time there was large-scale industrial production in what was a rural landscape
  • The need for housing and other facilities for workers and managers resulted in the creation of a unique industrial landscape that has retained its qualities over two centuries.

As such the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site is recognised by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) as having a cultural heritage amongst the most priceless and irreplaceable possessions in this county, the country and indeed the whole world.

Where can I find more information about Derwent Valley Mills?

Find out more at Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site.

What is the Darley Abbey Mills Grant Scheme?

There are a number of historic buildings on the Darley Abbey Mills Site where the owners are eligible to apply for a grant for eligible building repairs. The first step is to discuss and arrange a site meeting with a Conservation Officer to discuss your proposals. Then complete and return an application form accompanied by a minimum of three competitive tenders or estimates. It is most important that you should not start work before a decision has been made and you have a written offer of grant assistance as to do so would prejudice your application.

Your grant offer(s) will be subject to standard conditions including time limits and those relating to quality of work. Details of floor-space increases, jobs created/safeguarded are also likely be required prior to payment of grant(s). All of the necessary forms and information needed to apply can be downloaded.


Contact details

Phone: 01332 641629
Minicom: 01332 640666