A Long and Rich Story of Success

Situated deep in the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site, Belper is a historic and vibrant post-industrial market town.

Its origins were in the foundation of a hunting estate for the Norman aristocracy, but it soon established itself a centre of metalworking, in particular, nail making. This grew further with the establishment of Jedediah Strutt’s water-powered cotton mills on the River Derwent, at the very beginning of the Industrial Revolution.

After that, Belper became a national force in the knitting industry, but most of this industry has now gone and Belper has had to re-invent itself. It is against this backdrop that Belper has developed the ‘personality’ that it has today as a thriving rural market town; with a mix of independent shops and businesses, working with local government, for the benefit of commerce and the community. Its people have rallied and created an inclusive environment within which its people and businesses can grow.