Hope for new jobs as historic mill buildings now part of the family
HISTORIC 18th century mill buildings in Darley Abbey that were at the heart of the Industrial Revolution are being brought back to life with a seven-figure investment.
Family firm Patterns Properties has bought the grade one-listed Long Mill and West Mill with a view to creating 30,000 sq ft of business space that could help create hundreds of jobs.
Both buildings, which overlook the Derwent, have been largely empty for decades and are on English Heritage's at-risk register.
Patterns Properties, owned by brother and sister Anthony Attwood and Janet Rose, now own the entire Darley Abbey Mills complex, with the exception of Darleys restaurant. It is the first time that the mills have been under common ownership since the 1960s.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Wednesday, May 22 2013
Around 200 people currently work at Darley Abbey Mills. The refurbishment of the remainder of the buildings could help create hundreds more.
The top floor or the Long Mill was formerly a schoolroom for mill workers' children and still has hooks on which they would hang their coats. An antique metal lantern still hangs where it was left after the last lesson ended.
Director Anthony Attwood said: "The first job is to look at the roof and make sure it's fully watertight, but it obviously needs a lot of improvements to be made in general.
"The buildings will be renovated according to demand rather than all in one go and though I wouldn't like to put a final sum on our investment, we're looking at seven figures. Given that we had three-quarters of the site already and felt that we have been reasonably successful, it made sense to invest in having the complete set.
"English Heritage has been very supportive so far and we are hoping to be able to access some grant funding to help with renovation costs."
Mr Attwood and his sister, fellow Patterns Properties director Janet Rose, both grew up in Darley Abbey and still live locally.
Mrs Rose said: "I remember looking around the buildings when we were children and it is as if time has stood still. These buildings used to employ hundreds of people and we hope they will do so again."
The Long Mill, rebuilt in 1789, is the earliest surviving example of a fire-proofed building: its wooden beams are coated in tin.
Upper floors of the two buildings have not been occupied since the 1950s. Derventio Brewery is on the ground floor.
The Attwood family bought the East and Middle Mills in 1969. Two years ago, Patterns Properties bought and started to refurbish the North Mill, which had been vacated by Ellison Industrial Products' relocation to Bemrose Business Park. The first firm to move in was graphic design agency Fluid Ideas, moving from Friar Gate in January 2011.
The building now has a gym at ground level and advanced technology firm Brewer Science on the second floor. The site has around 50 tenants, including Mackney Photography, financial services firm CWS and design and display firm Indigo.
Derby property firm Salloway is marketing Darley Abbey Mills.