Belper to host World Heritage Site celebration event

The Derwent Valley Mills heritage celebration will include guided tours.
The Derwent Valley Mills heritage celebration will include guided tours.

The famous history of Belper is to be celebrated this weekend at an event marking the 15th anniversary of its major global heritage status.

In 2002, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) added the Derwent Valley Mills to their World Heritage List.

It is the highest heritage designation on the planet, putting the home of the Industrial Revolution on the same level as the Giza Pyramids, the Great Wall of China and Stonehenge.

To mark the anniversary, 40 organisations from all over the valley will be gathering at Strutts Community Centre on Derby Road, Belper, for a celebration of the site’s past and future.

Adrian Farmer, one of the team organising the event, says: “We’re having a celebration event which effectively puts the whole 15-mile long World Heritage Site into a single building .

“Every aspect of our local heritage will be covered, and there are lots of family activities and games, mini-walks around the historic bits of Belper, and a room for talks where we start a new topic every half hour.”

He added: “It’s a new way for the local communities to enjoy the World Heritage Site, and learn why their area is so important to world history. We’re hoping lots of people will come and find out more.”

Among the exhibitors will be groups planning for the transformation of Belper’s own mills, and a presentation on the multi-million pound project at Derby’s Silk Mill.

The event will run from 11am to 4pm, with the short, guided walks departing from the centre at 11.30am and 2pm. Parking is free, and refreshments will be served throughout the day.

For more details, see www.derwentvalleymills.org.