It’s certainly an ambitious project, but a husband and wife team are well on their way to creating a hive of creative industry in a former lace mill.
Photographer Deborah Selwood and husband Jeremy acquired the empty factory in Station Road, Ilkeston –which was most recently the Seven Stars cash and carry – last year.
Once finished, about a year from now, the Maltby’s Creative Mill – named after original owner and former Ilkeston Mayor Charles Maltby – could be home to up to 17 firms, ranging from fashion designers to sculptors and artists to video games designers.
There will also be two rooms, used solely for exhibitions, dance performances, or special monthly events to showcase to the public the creative industries based there.
Deborah, who runs successful Gecko Photography, will relocate to the 130-year-old mill from the Ropewalk Industrial Estate.
She said she hopes to foster a community feel between the businesses which rent units alongside hers.
“We’re not interested in making lots and lots of units,” she explained.
“We’re interested in making a community space for people to network and talk to one another because, as a creative person, it can be quite lonely.”
The pair, of Shipley View, are completing the project in phases and will be able to rent out spaces, they hope, from this summer.
“We hope this will strengthen the community and strengthen the area,” added Jeremy.
“What we are pushing is that people work together –it would be great to see items made here and then sold in Ilkeston town centre.”