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Heritage Cotton Mills, Derbyshire

25 minutes
First broadcast:
Thursday 17 April 2014

Helen Mark visits the Derwent Valley, an area dotted with old, looming cotton mill structures to discover what the future holds for these 'industrial giants' of the landscape.

At the turn of the 19th Century, Britain was world leader in cotton manufacturing and home to the largest industrial complexes on the planet. The last spinning machines closed in 2003 and the UK now produces zero amount of cotton, but the awesome brick structures still tower over the Derbyshire Countryside. Stretching 15 miles down the river valley from Matlock Bath to Derby, the Derwent Valley World Heritage Site contains a fascinating series of historic mill complexes, including some of the world's first 'modern' factories. But how can these structures remain relevant rather than redundant? Visiting Cromford Mills, The Belper River Gardens and the beautiful natural landscape that surrounds these giant structures, Helen meets the people whose passion keeps this history alive.



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