New Mills Town

©English Heritage
©English Heritage

Region: East Midlands

Local Authority: High Peak

Owner Type: Many

Funding Body: CAPS (EH and HLF); Public; Private

Year of Intervention: 1995 - 2002

Summary: New Mills- dramatically sited mill town finding new direction through the aid of English Heritage and the Hertitage Lottery Fund Conservation Area Partnership schemes (CAPS).

Description: New Miles is a south Pennine town located at the foot of the Derbyshire Hills, with a population of 9,560. The town is entirely a product of the industrial revolution and occupies a unique site above the Torr, a spectacular gorge formed during the ice age.
Issue: Its character is derived from the widespread surviving examples of traditional detailing such as shop fronts, stone slate roof, period doors and windows. However, this character was at risk and many properties had suffered from a lack of investment and insensitive alterations. A change in the town’s economic structure has resulted in two redundant mill buildings and a local economy struggling to sustain the town centre and its physical fabric.
Strategy: The town was designated a conservation area in 1985. Over the last 12 years a strong partnership between High Peak Borough Council, Derbyshire County Council and English Heritage has been formed, recognising the town’s unique character, historic merit and social need. This resulted in the CAP schemes in 1995, replacing the previous Town Scheme that has existed since 1990. The CAPS continued until 2001 when it was replaced by the New Mills HERS. Heritage funding of £197,010 levered £1,053,089 of additional public and private funding. Both these schemes have sought to address the wider economic problems of the town through the restoration and reuse of existing historic buildings. They have been particularly successful in promoting and supporting the repair and restoration of a number of commercial and residential properties throughout the town, including the restoration of several long-term key listed buildings at risk.
Outcome: Specific achievements facilitated by the CAP scheme include the restoration of three listed mid-18th-century cottages redundant since the 1970s and key buildings at risk. Repair and reuse of the former County and Manchester Bank, a key listed building at risk. Restoration and repair of over 40 buildings in residential use and 20 in commercial use. Year one of the HERS scheme has included the restoration of five commercial and five residential buildings, the repair of three key buildings within the town centre and environmental enhancements to an existing setted footpath. 17 jobs were created and a further 36 were safeguarded. Plans for the future include the two redundant mill complexes, Hyde Bank Mill and Torr Vale Mill.

Keywords: Grants, Regeneration, Repair, Reconstruction & Restoration

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