As part of the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site Great Place Scheme creative programme we’re looking forward to seeing the outcome of Derwent Delights, a creative engagement programme and series of commissions from Belper based Fleet Arts.

Derwent Delights is a celebratory exhibition of a community arts project run by Fleet Arts, that has explored the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Sites’ rich landscape and history. Showcasing sculptural metalwork by Miles Halpin, Textile Art by Tan Draig and poetry, textile and video responses created by a wide variety of groups across the valley working with professional artists.

Dates: 29/30/31 May 2021, 10am-5pm

Inspired by the exhibition, watch out for ‘Live Art’ happenings throughout the day on Sunday 30th May including Spoken Word performance, site-specific interventions and a drop-in art session.

Venue: Cromford Mills, Mill Rd, Cromford, Matlock DE4 3RQ

 With thanks to: Fleet Arts, Miles Halpin, Tan Draig, Sophie Sparham, Front Row Films.

And participants: Captive Audience; Cobbles Craft group; DCC Virtual Schools; Wirksworth Eco Centre; Great Place Scheme (Youth Art group), Alfreton Education Centre; GoldsQuad, Derby Quad; Home Education families; Derbyshire; and White Peak Writers.

This project is funded by National Lottery Heritage Fund and Arts Council England for the Creative Programme of the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site Great Place Scheme.


About Derwent Delights

Derwent Delights was originally conceived in 2019 as a ‘geocache’ trail and has been creatively re-imagined due to the Covid-19 pandemic as a celebratory exhibition, exploring the rich landscape and history of the Derwent Valley Mills.

Two Derbyshire artists were commissioned to create sculptures that were contemporary responses inspired by the attributes of the World Heritage Site:

Miles Halpin (MRSS) is inspired by natural forms, maps and landscape. He designed and created the sculptured vessels that depict the different attributes and areas of the valley, characterised by the river;

Tan Draig OBE is inspired by local stories, heritage and landscape. He made five of his personal textile ‘Meki Meki’ characters to live inside the vessels, informed by the complex attributes of the Valley.

The planned face-to-face creative engagement workshops that had begun with a wide variety of groups and organisations across the valley, had to be adapted in line with the pandemic restrictions over the year.

Participants were able to take part through online workshops, live-streaming sessions on location, video tutorials, using postal kits and worksheets, all facilitated by local artists.

The artists worked with participants in video, textiles and creative writing to explore the unique heritage of specific sites across DVMWHS. The work made will all be displayed at Cromford Mill and was inspired and informed by the UNESCO ‘Key Attributes and Values’ that earned the Derwent Valley Mills their World Heritage Site status in 2001.

After the exhibition, the vessels will be displayed in five sites across the valley to form a trail for people to explore some of the different sites: 1. Grosvenor House, Arboretum Park, Derby 2. a venue tbc in Darley Abbey. 3. Strutts North Mill, Belper 4. High Peak Junction Visitor Centre 5. Cromford Mill.

In the future they may also be part of events in and around the valley…so keep a look out!


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