Low carbon - 27 March 2024

Midlands Net Zero Hub supporting Cromford Mills UNESCO World Heritage site hydro scheme

PHOTO: Cromford Mills, Derbyshire

The Midlands Net Zero Hub is funded by the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero as part of the government’s clean growth strategy and is hosted by Nottingham City Council. The Hub is supported by D2N2 LEP and is one of five local Net Zero Hubs in England.

The local Net Zero Hubs aim to facilitate investment into decarbonisation projects, increasing the number, quality and scale of those being delivered across the regions. The Midlands Net Zero Hub works with their partners across the Midlands to support projects from the earliest stages of feasibility and development through to investment readiness and delivery.

One aspect of the Net Zero Hub’s work is their Feasibility Studies, that are aimed at supporting rural communities to improve their energy resilience and decarbonise.

The Midlands Net Zero Hub is supporting the Feasibility Study for a hydro scheme for Cromford Mills in Derbyshire.

Cromford Mills is a Grade 1 Listed building and UNESCO World Heritage site. It is the birthplace of the modern factory system.

The Parish Council does not have resources to maintain the existing historic waterways. The Hydro scheme will allow this to be funded annually.

The new waterwheel will attract more visitors to the site and increase tourism in the area.

The project aims are to:

  • Reinstate a waterwheel (first installed by Sir Richard Arkwright in 1776) providing hydroelectric power at Cromford Mills (potential capacity 20kW).
  • Get existing hydro turbine at Cromford Corn Mill back in service (capacity 12kW, last working in 2012).
  • Install a water source heat pump at Cromford Mill to replace electric heating.

As a result of this project, 40 kw of energy will be created through hydro power, resulting in 25 tonnes of CO2 savings per year

The Mill is a thriving local attraction and centre of learning which receives over 200,000 visitors per year. The Arkwright experience is a first class holographic audio visual experience that explains the history of the Mill.  The whole community is behind the project and look forward to seeing the water wheel reinstated.

Further information on the Feasibility Study: Cromford Mill – Midlands Net Zero Hub

Visit the Cromford Mills website to find out the latest progress on the project.

D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) covers the Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire region, convening the businesses, universities, colleges and local authorities in our region to drive low carbon, economic growth and productivity, skills & careers, inclusion and delivery excellence. The D2N2 LEP team and functions will transition into the East Midlands Combined County Authority (EMCCA) during 2024.   


For media enquiries, contact:    

Nicola Swaney    

Head of External Affairs, D2N2 LEP    


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