Recent reports have shown that Derby is the third fastest growing city in the UK and that economic growth in Derby is amongst the highest in the UK. Proving that, despite economic uncertainty, Derby has a thriving economy that continues to grow, and provide excellent opportunities for people who live and work in the city.

Derby City Council (DCC) is committed to attracting visitors to our city to achieve economic, social and cultural benefits. Part of these efforts involves continuing our close working with partners to secure development funding.

I am delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and Arts Council England (ACE) have given their support for the redevelopment of the Silk Mill. DCC is played a vital role in securing this funding, which provides a strong future for culture in Derby.

DCC are working closely with the Derby Museums Trust to develop the project and are granting them a new extended lease which has enabled them to access the funding from HLF and ACE. The redevelopment of the Silk Mill Museum supports the our Pledge to support Derby’s museums, galleries and key cultural partners to provide a vibrant leisure and cultural offer across the city.

The HLF have been great supporters of Derby in recent years by funding the restoration of Derby Arboretum and Markeaton Park as well as several other cultural projects. ACE has also announced investment of more than £10.1 million over four years in Derby through their National Portfolio of Organisations.

The £16.4million project to turn Derby’s Silk Mill museum into a world class attraction will receive £3.7million secured by the Council via the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership’s Local Growth Fund 3 (LGF). Funding for the project includes contributions from project partners the Heritage Lottery Fund (£9.4m), Arts Council England (£2.7m), Derby City Council (£350,000) and Partner Museum Funding Trusts (£228,700).

It has been important to us to support this project which is a key element of the City Centre Masterplan to bring 140,000 visitors a year to the area boosting the city’s economy, by an estimated £4.24million a year.

The museum’s expansion is expected to create 141 additional jobs and support 20 businesses, through managed workspace units at the site. We are certain that the Silk Mill redevelopment will ensure Derby continues to be a great place to live, work and visit.

The Derby Silk Mill is widely regarded as the site of the world’s first factory, and is part of the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site. I am excited to be supporting ambitious plans to expand and improve the current site, into a ‘Museum of Making’ which will see the Silk Mill display items from Derby’s industrial past, and provide learning programmes and activities to inspire future generations of makers, creators and innovators.

Work onsite is due to begin next month (February 2018) and be completed June 2020, with the new look museum due to open in July 2020.

As well as informing people about and displaying items from the area’s industrial past, the new Museum of Making at Derby Silk Mill will be an educational resource to encourage young people’s entrepreneurial and technological ambitions. A programme of events and activities will particularly focus on helping with schools and colleges’ teaching of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths) subjects.

The museum is anticipated to have 8,000 schoolchildren participating in programmes and 25,000 people engaging in informal learning activities annually, inspiring and helping to develop future generations of children.


Councillor Amo Raju, Cabinet Member for Leisure, Culture and Tourism


For more information about the Derby Silk Mill development plan visit the Derby Museums website.

For more information about the D2N2 LEP’s Local Growth Fund and projects benefiting from it, visit the D2N2 website.