Severn Trent donates £200,000 to Derbyshire community projects 

1st November 2022

Severn Trent has donated grants totalling £215,493 to two Derbyshire-based charities.

The Arkwright Trust received £199,093 for the refurbishment of the historic Cromford Mill, while £16,400 was received by The ELM Foundation to provide new carpeting for its refuge for victims of domestic abuse.

The Cromford Mill project – which also received funding from Derbyshire County Council - will include the creation of a new visitor experience, reinstatement of a waterwheel and installation of a turbine which will provide the site with renewable energy.

Simon Gill, the Arkwright Society's Operations Director, said: "This is a fantastic project to return waterpower to the mill that created the first factory system at the start of the Industrial Revolution.  As part of our drive to transform Cromford Mills into a more sustainable and greener site, we hope this project will spark more interest in sustainable energy sources and inspire people working on other heritage sites to play a part in shaping the future of our world. We are also looking forward to connecting the project with Cromford Village and working with the local community”.

The ELM Foundation runs confidential, accessible community spaces for people who have fled domestic abuse.  During Covid-19, the Foundation saw a higher volume of families using its 8-bedroom refuge which has brought forward the timeline for refurbishment of the building’s carpets, which are an important part of ensuring people feel comfortable in the refuge.

Jennifer, from The ELM Foundation, said: “This grant will allow us to completely recarpet one of our refuges, which will have a positive impact on the people who use our services and help them to feel more at home during what can be an incredibly stressful time.”

These grants contribute to Severn Trent’s ambition of donating £10m from its Community Fund between 2020 and 2025, supporting new projects by local charities and community groups. 

Sue Heyes, from Severn Trent's Community Fund team, said: “It is fantastic that we have been able to continue to support some truly outstanding community-focused projects such as these. It is important that we are able to give something back and our awards panel was unanimous in ensuring that funding would be secured for these two very different but very important projects.

"We are always keen to hear from groups or organisations that are seeking funding for projects that can make a real, tangible difference to their communities and we recommend that they get in touch to see if they can benefit from a share of the Community Fund.”

For more information on the Severn Trent Community Fund and to find out how to make an application visit: