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Museum of Making at Derby Silk Mill (UNESCO World Heritage Site)

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THE MUSEUM OF MAKING: A GREAT ADDITION TO THE CITY OF MAKERS

A visitor attraction like no other

The brand-new Museum of Making has thrown open its doors to visitors from Derby and beyond, showcasing the region’s 300-year history of making and celebrating its rich history of innovation.

The Museum of Making is located on a site of global significance, where the Derby Silk Mill – widely regarded as the site of the world’s first modern factory – first stood over 300 years ago. This new visitor attraction is also located in the Derwent Valley Mills UNESCO World Heritage Site, one of the key sites of the industrial revolution - something that will appeal to visitors from far and wide.

This is no ordinary museum. It has been created and built by the people and industries of Derby, with hundreds of local volunteers helping to shape and design the way the museum will work for visitors. It will also tell the story of making in the region to help inspire visitors to unleash their creativity and start making.

Some stand-out elements to the new museum that visitors can enjoy include:

  • Entering the new museum via the Grade I listed Bakewell Gates. Designed by master ironmaker Robert Bakewell, the gates have stood proudly at the front of the Silk Mill in Derby since 1725
  • They will be able to make their own bespoke trail through the amazing 30,000 collections, which are displayed and shared in unique ways.
  • A seven tonne Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engine suspended in the new Civic Hall above visitors’ heads
  • The much-loved Midland Model Railway, located in the Railway Gallery
  • The world’s smallest engine run using a human hair
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Derby Silk Mill circa 1908 (L), and in the modern day (C), and an impression of the new Museum of Making (R).
Credit Derby Museums (L, C) and Bauman Lyons Architects (R).

A stunning building and a new place to meet

As well as being an exciting new visitor attraction, the Museum of Making will also provide a range of versatile spaces for locals and visitors alike. From fully appointed and publicly accessible workshops (packed full of equipment for any making project including a CNC machine, laser cutters and textiles) where people can actively create and make, to ‘The River Kitchen’ - a stunning new setting to meet friends and eat and drink overlooking the banks of the beautiful River Derwent.

On top of this, visitors to the Museum of Making can also enjoy:

  • A new viewing gallery at the top of the museum’s tower which looks out across the city and the beautiful Derbyshire countryside
  • The retail shop which showcases the work of makers, creators and designers from across the region to find new and unique products
  • Venue hire spaces which can cater for a variety of events, from small business meetings to large scale conferences - and even bespoke weddings like no other!
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The Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engine being installed in the Civic Hall in August 2019 (L) and the world’s smallest engine, ran by a human hair (R). Credit Speller Metcalfe (L) and Derby Museums (R).

Inspiring and supporting the makers of tomorrow

The new museum will also be the home of the Institute of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths), a key educational resource for Derby and the wider UK generously supported by Rolls-Royce. New start-ups and makers will also have access to a new co-working space ‘The Prospect’, and young people will be inspired to come up with new ideas and solutions to problems when the Midlands Maker Challenge competition is launched in 2021 (generously supported by Midlands-based IMI plc.).

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An impression of the new Civic Hall (L) and The Assemblage (R). Credit The Creative Core.

How the Museum of Making is being funded

The Museum of Making has been developed by Derby Museums, an independent charitable trust that also manages the Museum and Art Gallery and Pickford’s House in Derby. This £18m project is being funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund, Arts Council England, D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership and a range of trusts, foundations and businesses.

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Discover more of the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site 

Listing photographs credit: Pictoria Pictures and Chris Seddon Photography

Cabaret Mechanical Theatre

26 Jan 2022 - 13 Mar 2022

CMT are delighted to bring 30 automata from their collection to the Museum of Making this winter. This interactive educational experience is perfect for children, families, school groups and adults.
This is an introductory course to jewellery making and fine metalworking using recycled or reclaimed materials and found objects.
Learn to solder and make your very own electronic game to take home!
An evening of new Queer writing by Derby and Derbyshire writers, co-produced with Derbyshire LGBT+ and In Good Company.
Mayor Robin Wood and Professor Gregory Woods discuss LGBTQ+ Voices in Politics and the Arts as part of a season of events produced by Derby Museums as part of LGBTQ+ History Month.
LGB-Qwerty, Derby’s LGBTQ+ spoken word and variety event returns for a LGBT History Month special at the Museum of Making.
Design and make you own LGBTQ+ themed badges as part of LGBT History Month, produced by Derby Museums in partnership with The Nerdy Queer.

STEAM Tots

12 Feb 2022 - 26 Feb 2022

This loose parts play session offers a sensory and playful exploration of objects and materials, stimulating children’s curiosity, imagination and experimentation.
This is an introductory workshop to hot forge work, perfect for those looking to try their hand at metal fabrication and basic blacksmithing techniques.
Make your own spring themed automaton* inspired by the special exhibition Cabaret Mechanical Theatre .

Kitchenalia Workshop

26 Feb 2022 - 27 Feb 2022

Join Steve Smith, Pattern Maker by trade and the Museum of Making’s Workshop Supervisor, on this weekend course to make your own kitchen utensils and equipment.
Presented as part of International Women’s Day, artist and poet Margaret Gosley presents ‘Feminising the Masculine – how to stitch a jet engine’ an exhibition, workshop, talk and performance reimagining the Rolls Royce Trent 1000 engine.

Reminisce

12 Mar 2022

Reminisce pays homage to the 90s club scene and all the massive house classics.

STEAM Tots (March)

12 Mar 2022 - 26 Mar 2022

This loose parts play session offers a sensory and playful exploration of objects and materials, stimulating children’s curiosity, imagination and experimentation.
Featuring 10 of Derbyshire’s best contemporary fine artists. Sculpture, Print, Painting, Ceramics, Photography, and more.
Welcome in spring by creating your very own ‘creature crib’, for your garden visitors on this woodworking taster day course, perfect for beginners.

Museum of Making at Derby Silk Mill (UNESCO World Heritage Site)
Silk Mill Lane Derby DE1 3AF

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