COLUMN: Boom in visitor numbers at the North Mill

Belper's North Mill
Belper's North Mill
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By Belper North Mill Team

Bridgefoot, Belper

It’s certainly been a busy and successful start to the season here at the mill.

To begin with, the number of visitors passing through our big brown door has risen dramatically compared to last year and we’ve also beaten off stiff competition to win one of the national New Opportunities Awards.

As well as that, we’ve seen some great exhibitions and events as part of both the arts trail and festival.

Carrol Harries Wood had us literally walking on egg shells as part of her beautiful work and Ola Wilson has transformed our basement with a work inspired by French knitting.

Why not pay us a visit and take a look? It’s on display until July.

There’s a lot been going on in our basement too.

Building on the success of their Light and Sound Show outside the mill in March, Tim Shore and Stuart Poynton from,The University of Derby, turned their attention to the basement to fill it with light as part of our Museum at Night event.

In complete contrast, Sara Noble-Nesbit brought a much darker tone with her production of The Pentrich Revolution.

Looking to the future, the New Opportunities Award, which has been developed by the pioneering New Expressions programme in partnership with the Contemporary Visual Arts Network, has given the mill an exciting opportunity for a new collaboration with artist Tim Shore.

Tim will create a series of short films that explore the ways in which time was understood in the mills and factories of the early Industrial Revolution, by both the mill owners and the workers whose time was strictly monitored and controlled. His work will be ready for display in April next year.

On a sad note, it’s this month that we say goodbye to two key members of staff: Sarah Skinner, museum manager, and Ruth Litton, engagement officer.

We are sorry to see them leave and thank them for their hard work in making this year such a successful year so far.

On a happier note, we welcome new arrival Debbie Richards to the post of museum manager.

I am sure she will continue to build on the success the mill has achieved so far.

For more information on the goings on at the North Mill log-on to