THE POTENTIAL of Derbyshire’s own World Heritage Site is being studied

THE POTENTIAL of Derbyshire’s own World Heritage Site is being studied to assess how it can contribute to the economic future of the region.

GROWING global interest in the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site has sparked a question for the increasing number of accommodation providers in the county – can they help visitors enjoy and understand the site’s key features?

Now the partnership which co-ordinates the site has produced a special pack for local businesses, helping them to understand what a World Heritage Site is, why the Derwent Valley Mills are so important, and where they can send visitors interested in Derbyshire’s unique contribution to the Industrial Revolution.

Isla Macneal, the World Heritage Site Co-ordinator, said: “Whether visitors want to see a working textile museum, view monuments from the birth of the industrial age or simply enjoy the rural splendour of the Derwent Valley, there’s plenty on offer and more than a few surprises to be found.

“So it is important that when visitors arrive they can find out more from the people they meet, those who live in or near the valley all year round.

“By having this background material at their fingertips, accommodation and service providers can help visitors gain more from their stay, and promote a positive image for the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site and its people.”

“This can only be beneficial for the local economy and strengthen all tourism-related businesses in the area.”

The latest tool for helping everyone enjoy the Derwent Valley is the website www.derwentvalleymills.org which is packed with information on all aspects of the World Heritage Site.

This international designation confirms the outstanding importance of the area as the birthplace of the factory system where in the 18th century water power was successfully harnessed for textile production.

Stretching 15 miles (24km) down the river valley from Matlock Bath to Derby, the World Heritage Site contains a fascinating series of historic mill complexes, including some of the World’s first ‘modern’ factories.