Arts Derbyshire



The historic Cromford Mills near Matlock will host two nights of magical large-scale projections combining special effects and live music when ‘Shine A Light’ returns with a brand-new display this October half term.

Providing a breathtaking after-dark spectacular of light and sound, the events will transform Arkwright’s mills with cutting-edge projections, moving animations, and live music on Thursday 26th and Friday 27th October 2023.

This year’s event at Cromford Mills includes a new projection reflecting on the Mills’ transformation and rebirth since Sir Richard Arkwright’s time – celebrating the return of waterpower, today’s community, and the remarkable nature of the wider UNESCO Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site.

Visitors will be able to experience an illuminated woodland walk to the historic Mill Yard at Cromford before enjoying an evening of entertainment under the stars with large-scale projections, late-night shopping and food and drink including barbecue and street food, BoozeHound bar, locally-sourced cheese, mulled wine and sweet treats.

Another chapter of Shine A Light will unfold at Elvaston Castle near Derby on 8th, 9th and 10th December 2023 where stunning projections will be complemented by a festive market and seasonal entertainment.

Delivered by internationally-renowned Derbyshire-born video projection artists Illuminos, Shine A Light is designed to celebrate Derbyshire’s rich history and heritage, boost the visitor economy and extend the tourism season during the traditionally quieter autumn and winter months.

Derbyshire County Council has commissioned the events following successful displays in 2021 and 2022 which were enjoyed by thousands of visitors.

Shine A Light includes a large-scale projection every 20 minutes throughout each evening at:

  • Cromford Mills, home of Sir Richard Arkwright’s first mill complex, in the UNESCO Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site, on Thursday 26th October and Friday 27th October from 18:00
  • Elvaston Castle, a Gothic Revival castle and surrounding parkland, run by Derbyshire County Council, on Friday 8th December, Saturday 9th December and Sunday 10th December from 17:00

Tickets are £10 for adults and £6 per child (aged 4-12 inclusive, free for 3 and under). Family tickets are priced at £28 (two adults and up to three children). Booking fees apply.

For more information and to book tickets please visit:

Jo Dilley, Managing Director of Visit Peak District & Derbyshire, says: “Shine A Light has already entertained thousands of visitors with magical displays and we’re looking forward to a brand new projection at Arkwright’s historic Cromford Mills.

“Not only do these captivating projections bring local history to life, they also offer a great reason for tourists and residents alike to discover some of our great heritage attractions during the typically quieter autumn and winter months.


“Events like this are vital as they help to protect and showcase Derbyshire’s special cultural sites – and we encourage people to book their tickets as soon as possible.”

Leader of Derbyshire County Council Councillor Barry Lewis added: “Shine A Light was launched in 2021 to help support the recovery of the visitor economy following the coronavirus pandemic.


“We’re proud of our role in bringing these unique experiences to Derbyshire and look forward to seeing these fantastic events entertain tourists and residents alike again this year.”


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