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Celebrating the area’s rich history of innovation, the Museum of Making in the Derwent Valley Mills UNESCO World Heritage Site is a contemporary space telling Derby’s 300-year history of making to inspire new creativity. Designed and made by the people and industries of Derby with exhibits, workshops, activities and events, there’s something here for everyone including a new café, shop and venue hire space.

Derby Silk Mill is widely regarded as the site of the world’s first modern factory, built in the valley that changed the world. Industry brought prosperity to some and poverty and wage slavery to others. Yet it shaped Derby as a city of making and creativity. Industrial society led to the creation of civic institutions and stimulated a civil society in which people campaigned for social and political rights.

Find out more about what’s inside the Museum of Making here.

Visiting the Museum of Making

Entry to the new Museum of Making is free, with the exception of some temporary exhibitions, visitors are advised to book a timeslot to ensure entry to temporary exhibitions. Special exhibitions are FREE on the first Sunday of every month, on a first come first served basis.

See our What’s on page here


The Museum of Making has been developed through major grant funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund,  Arts Council England and D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership. Significant support has also been received from Derby City Council, Rolls-Royce and a range of charitable trusts and foundations. For more information click here.

The opening of the Museum of Making was an important moment for Derby. We joined forces with partners across the city and region to help mark this milestone with a celebration of local events, culminating in the tri-centenary of the Silk Mill in 2021.

The 300 programme  celebrated 300 years of making in Derby and the wider region as well as inspiring makers of the future through a co-ordinated programme of events and activities.


We are thrilled that the Museum of Making was awarded ‘Highly Commended’ in ‘Sustainable Project of the Year’ at the 2021 Museums + Heritage Awards and project of the year (under £20m) at the 2021 Construction News awards.

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