Cromford Water Power Project

by THE ARKWRIGHT SOCIETY LIMITED in Matlock, Derbyshire, United Kingdom

Total raised £25,835

raised so far

+ est. £4557.50 Gift Aid



Waterpower returns! A 5m waterwheel & hydro-turbine will create renewable energy at Cromford Mills. We're so close, but we need your help!

by THE ARKWRIGHT SOCIETY LIMITED in Matlock, Derbyshire, United Kingdom

We're still collecting donations

On the 4th November 2023 we'd raised £22,170 with 113 supporters in 56 days. But as every pound matters, we're continuing to collect donations from supporters.

Tell your story

The Arkwright Society’s waterpower project aims to reduce our carbon footprint by putting waterpower back into the heart of Cromford Mills.  The industrial revolution started here using renewable waterpower, and so this project will return the site to its original renewable energy source, as it was originally, 250 years ago.  The project will also start to address the substantial rises in energy prices. The recent spike in our electricity bills, which escalated from £45,000 to £170,000 per annum from July 2022 to April 2023, has made it increasingly difficult to afford power and has significantly impacted our resilience as a charity, compounded by rising inflation and the cost-of-living impacts. 

The project will see the installation of a new 5m diameter water wheel and a 17kWh hydro turbine and water source heating system; the new system will use the same water course that originally powered Arkwright’s mills.  We anticipate generating around 20-25% of on-site electricity, taking a significant step forward towards embracing renewable technology and achieving our sustainability goals.

The Vision Unveiled: A turbine-powered water wheel at Cromford Mills

At the iconic Cromford Mills, where the first successful water powered cotton spinning mill revolutionised the world; picture a turbine-powered water wheel gracefully turning, harnessing the very force that once powered the Industrial Revolution. This monumental leap will generate clean, renewable electricity, breathing life into this historically significant site and cherished Society and will support one of the Charity’s fundamental goals of sustainability for future generations. 

Igniting Possibilities: The impact of your donation

This project is being funded by the Green Entrepreneur Fund, Severn Trent Community Fund, and with the support of Vaillant Boilers, Twiggs, and other suppliers.  However, we have a shortfall and need everyone’s support to complete the transformation. With your generous contribution, you're not just supporting a water wheel – you're powering education, preservation, and innovation.

Unveiling the Future: Your role in our success

The time is now, and we have set our sights on raising £60,000 to finish the installation. Your donation, no matter the size, will help us achieve this milestone and bring us closer to the vision we hold dear. We are incredibly grateful for any support given. 

Join Us Now:  How you can make a difference

Donate: The Arkwright Society at Cromford Mills would not be in existence if it had not been for generous donations and support from individuals, businesses, foundations and trusts since 1979. To get this project finalised we once again kindly ask you to support this Charity by contributing towards this fantastic cause. 

Spread the word: Share our campaign with friends, family, and fellow enthusiasts who share our passion for history, sustainability, and progress. Bring more people along on this fantastic journey taking us one step closer to renewable energy. 

Ignite conversations: Engage with us on social media and be part of the conversation driving positive change and how we can take forward this green revolution here at Cromford.

Join us today, donate now and be a catalyst for change, a steward of history and a guardian of the future.

Thank you.


The turbine arrives in Cromford mills


This project offered rewards

£2,000 or more

Balance Plates from Cromford Water Wheel

An actual component from the water wheel that is replaced yearly - 16 plates will be renewed each year, this is a chance to receive a piece of heritage with your name or company engraved into the metalwork. Your name will also be included on the donors board.

£20 or more

£20 Personalised Christmas tree decoration

A bespoke water wheel shaped Christmas Tree decoration to commemorate the launch of the project. The decorations will be hung on Christmas tree across Cromford Mills throughout December and collected by the donor in the New Year

£30 or more

£30 p/p Guided tour of Lumsdale Valley Mills

Private access heritage tour by local guides, providing an insight to the Lumsdale Valley Mills; a site of national archaeological and historic importance. The mills and the associated water management features form one of the best examples in Britain of a water-powered industrial archaeological site.

£250 or more

Name inscribed on a donor board

Your name will be inscribed as a key donor to this project. The reward includes a tour of the Hydro project and see the 1957 Gilkes turbine in the underground chamber.

£1,500 or more

£1500 Christmas party for 20 people

A 3-course evening Christmas dinner for up to 20 people, including a drinks package, at the stunning Wheatcroft's Wharf Café. Please note that the dinner will take place upstairs.

£50 or more

Family trip on the Birdswood canal boat

A family trip along the Cromford canal boat on the narrow boat. This two hour return cruise from Cromford Wharf to Leawood is a “must do” and is ideal for family groups (2+2). Take in the sights of the canal as it passes High Peak junction workshop, Leawood Pump House and the recently restored Aqueduct Cottage. Afternoon tea and scones at Wheatcroft's Café included.

£50 or more

Buxton Crescent Premier Family Tour (2+3)

This is a 90-minute exclusive experience, hosted by a knowledgeable and friendly guide. The tour is limited to a maximum of eight people your host will answer questions as you delve into the history of the town and explore why this wonderful building came to stand here. The tour finishes in the Grade II listed Pump Room where you will be given souvenir glass Melandra bottle to ‘take the water’ from the historic Lion’s Head Well

£100 or more

£100 Behind the scenes tour for up to 6 people

Premium tour of Cromford Mills with cream tea. Experience includes Mill Manager's tour, visit to the local jail, and an exclusive underground Culverts tour descending into the wheel pit itself. This tour includes the use of ladders and descending from height to below ground. THIS EXPERIENCE MUST BE BOOKED AND USED BY 05.11.2023 - EMAIL [email protected]

£175 or more

Bespoke 3 Car Driving Experience

Drive 3 cars from the Great British Car Journey located in Ambergate, Derbyshire - more than 35 British Classics to choose from. Select any of the cars in the collection as part of your tailored experience.

£10,000 or more

Launch Party Sponsor

Launch Party Sponsor. Your pledge would be used towards the project shortfall and help fund an official launch party. You can invite 10 guests to the launch which will include a Prosecco reception, canopies and buffet lunch. The pledge will also include your sponsor name as a key donor on the donors board.

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