Renowned as one of the world's first factories, Arkwright's Derbyshire mill helped to usher in the Industrial Revolution in Britain and across the world.
Thanks to an HLF grant, the largest surviving building on the site has been transformed into a heritage information centre and creative business hub.
Hundreds of guests are gathering today to officially open the new centre. The event marks the culmination of years of arduous work to clean the building of contaminants left over from its previous industrial use.
[quote= Jonathan Platt, Head of HLF East Midlands]“Thanks to National Lottery players the building is open to the public for the first time in 35 years and will help attract many more visitors to discover the area’s heritage treasures.”[/quote]
Cromford Mills will now become the starting point for visitors to the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site.
Visitors will be able to find out exactly what there is to see and do at each of the 17 sites that stretch for 15 miles across the stunning Derbyshire countryside to the southernmost attractions, the Derby Silk Mill and Joseph Wright Gallery.
A CGI Sir Richard Arkwright greets visitors and talks them through how he launched the mass production of cotton that made him and his business partners a fortune.
Above the information centre, three floors of offices for entrepreneurs and small businesses have been created and are available to rent.
Jonathan Platt, Head of HLF East Midlands, said: “It’s great to see National Lottery investment secure a new future for Cromford Mills, a site that has played a hugely significant role in the nation’s history.
“Thanks to National Lottery players the building is open to the public for the first time in 35 years and will help attract many more visitors to discover the area’s heritage treasures, many of which are also benefiting from HLF support.”