Arts Derbyshire


New Museum of Making in Derby to welcome first visitors from Friday 21 May

ARTICLE - Original Image in higher quality from their Twitter Profile.

Opening will kick off city and Derbyshire-wide events in a year of celebrations.

The New Museum of Making in Derby is delighted to announce it will be throwing open its doors to its first visitors from Friday 21 May 2021. After much planning and anticipation, this brand new museum, on the site of what is widely regarded as the world’s first modern factory, is excited to be able to welcome visitors to this new destination.

The Museum of Making is being developed and will be operated by Derby Museums with thanks to major grant funding from The National Lottery Heritage Fund, Arts Council England, D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership and Derby City Council. Significant support has also been received from Rolls-Royce and a range of charitable trusts and foundations.

As well as its opening date, the Museum also announced a wider programme of events and activities that arts, cultural and city-wide organisations have been collaborating on to help celebrate 300 years of creativity and making across the region. Called ‘300’ – to mark the momentous anniversary of the first modern factory – events across the county will be linking into the making theme. Some examples of events include:

Derby Ram Trail – 27 May – 22 August

Derby Museums, in partnership with Wild in Art will be bringing the Derby Ram Trail to the city in May. This amazing public art event, featuring over 30 uniquely decorated ram sculptures, each of which is sponsored by a local business, makes the Ram Trail deeply rooted to Derby. It will make up a great family-friendly walking trail threading through Derby city centre.

Darley Park Concert – 29 August

Sinfonia Viva, supported by Rolls-Royce, presents one of the UK’s biggest outdoor classical concerts in the stunning natural amphitheatre that is Darley Park. Visitors will be able to enjoy a spectacular evening of fireworks and live music inspired by the theme of engineering, science and technology, celebrating 300 years of making in Derby. Darley regular Conductor, Jim Holmes, makes a welcome return to the stage, proving why he has been so instrumental in making this concert one of the most anticipated events in the East Midlands calendar. Full of extravagant musical highs and a dramatic finale that will light up the sky.

Georgian Derbyshire Festival – 17-19 September

Derbyshire was a hive of activity in Georgian times – and a place of great importance in world history. It was a county of great contrasts, and those contrasts are being celebrated over three days across the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site and the newly restored Buxton Crescent, with events themed on three key contrasts – water, society and architecture.

Derby Festé – 24-26 September

This well-loved festival will be working alongside the Museum of Making to extend the theme of making into its events, marking 300 years of making in a range of exciting performances and activities across the city.

Assemble – 23 October

This new-look maker faire will be building on Derby as a city of makers and bringing together makers from across the UK and internationally in a celebration of modern making.

These are just some of the events that will all be part of an umbrella brand – 300 Years of Making. The Cathedral Quarter, QUAD, Derby Cathedral, Derby Book Festival and Derby University, among others, will all be adding events to the programme as we come out of lockdown. This will provide a whole host of events and opportunities for the public to get involved with across what is fast becoming known as the ‘city of makers’. More details of the events can be found at or by following #Derby300.


Tony Butler, Executive Director of Derby Museums Trust said: “We are delighted we are going to be able to welcome people to the fantastic new Museum of Making from Friday 21 May. Whilst there are the usual caveats around possible changes to Government guidelines, we hope that this date will be fixed, and we can’t wait to get people through our doors and see what they make of Derby’s brand new museum.”

“We are also really pleased that the museum has been able to collaborate with organisations and institutions across the city and more widely to bring everyone together to create an amazing programme of activities and events. These activities will help us to celebrate 300 years of making, as well looking to the future to inspire the creativity and innovation that made Derby an early centre of the Industrial Revolution 300 years ago.”

Anne Jenkins, Director, England Midlands & East, National Lottery Heritage Fund said: “It is wonderful that, thanks to National Lottery players, we have been able to support Derby Museums in transforming what is widely regarded as the world’s first modern factory into an inclusive, 21st Century heritage destination. At the start of this journey, Derby Silk Mill was a sleeping giant, under-appreciated and at risk.”

“Now, the new Museum of Making is an exemplar cultural attraction that local people can be proud of, a magnet for visitors and a driver for city centre regeneration. Visitors will be enticed to learn more about Derby’s rich industrial heritage, as the museum sits proudly at the gateway to the Derwent Valley Mills UNESCO World Heritage Site.”

Sajeeda Rose, Chief Executive, D2N2 LEP, said: “The Museum of Making will be a world-class attraction, supporting the re-generation and growth of Derby city centre, and a must-visit destination for those in the East Midlands and beyond. We hope it will inspire the next generation of ‘makers’ and our collective ambitions to rebuild and grow our economy.”

Peter Knott, Midlands Area Director for Arts Council England, said: “We are delighted to be investing in the new Museum of Making and hope visitors will get a real sense of the history and importance of industry to Derby as they explore the site.”

“We are proud to champion the role creativity plays in bringing history to life and hope the museum inspires local and international visitors to explore Derby’s heritage in a creative way for many years to come.”


Entry is free to the new Museum of Making (with the exception of some temporary exhibitions) but, due to Covid restrictions, visitors will need to book in advance. Booking will be open from 10am on Tuesday 4 May.

To find out more and to plan your visit to the Museum of Making, visit

Submit your news to Arts Derbyshire

Submit your news items to or fill out this news submission form.

You can also register as a member to list your arts business and events in our directory.


Related news posts

Sign up to our newsletter

Find out what’s on with the Arts Derbyshire newsletter.

Artists, creatives, cultural providers, arts and health specialists – Sign up for one of our professional mailing lists.