Shared Assets were commissioned by the Derbyshire County Council to review the management body and funding structure for the World Heritage Site of Derwent Valley Mills.
As the East Midlands’ only UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Derwent Valley Mills stretches 15 miles (24 km) along the river Derwent. The valley is home to 30,000 people and has a complex mosaic of different land and property owners, as well as being protected through a variety of UK planning and conservation laws.
Shared Assets carried out a review of the effectiveness of the current management structures, involving interviews with stakeholders, development of high level options and approaches to governance and management, a review and challenge by an expert panel, as well as research into the governance and management arrangements of a number of other World Heritage sites that could help to inform recommendations for Derwent Valley Mills.
A new Management Plan was developed for the period of 2020-2025, which centralised the key aims of: conservation and planning, engagement, development and tourism, communities, transport and accessibility, spatial priorities, and monitoring. Shared Assets brought forward options of management which were then explored and developed with involvement from the central team and a Steering Group.
An evolved Management Plan was put forward, detailing a restructure of Governance and Management Structures, using the aforementioned analyses that were carried out by Shared Assets. A strategy for the delivery, coordination, and a process for exploring the formation of a new body capable of delivering commercial and grant funded work were included in the report.
From an initial review to an overall output strategy, the consultation exemplifies the role Shared Assets played, and the tools they brought to improve the resilience of Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site.