Masson Mills is home to a working textile and hydropower museum plus conference centre, with a proud history of generating hydropower, harnessing the force of the River Derwent. The site is supplied with renewable energy produced by its own hydroelectric turbines with any surplus energy supplied to the National Grid.
The Derwent Hydro Power Group of companies (DHPL) has acquired Masson Mills and will work to upgrade the site, including improvements to its hydropower scheme, whilst preserving an important heritage building and enhancing its cultural heritage with new uses.
“The museum helps to promote an understanding of the role of clean energy in the past and its potential for the future,” explains Jamie Needle, director of DHPL.
“As well as upgrading the hydropower scheme and preserving this important local heritage site, we hope that by introducing new facilities we can increase public enjoyment and appreciation of the Mill for both visitors to the local area and local residents."
Amandine Tetot, head of project finance at Triodos Bank UK, said: “The combination of investment into renewable energy and the preservation of industrial and cultural heritage makes this project is an ideal fit for Triodos’s values.”
DHPL’s purchase of Masson Mills was made possible with the support of the refinancing of a loan from Triodos, which was used by DHPL to construct its Gerlan Hydro project in 2013. The Gerlan Hydro site is a 1MW scheme, consisting of two hydropower stations, sitting on the edge of Snowdonia National Park.
The Derwent Hydro Group is a family-business, owned by the Needle family who has operated hydropower stations since the 1980s.
“The Needle family has demonstrated a deep and long-term commitment to the hydro sector and will use their skills and experience to preserve and breathe new life into this significant industrial heritage site while grounding it further in its community,” added Amandine.