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The Whitworth is delighted to announce that it has been successful in receiving funding for its 1-million-pound heritage project ‘Heart of the Park.’ The funding, from The National Lottery Heritage Fund, will make a significant difference to The Whitworth, it’s heritage and the wider Derbyshire Dales community.


The project will reinvigorate the heritage of The Whitworth, including:

  • Reinstating the original Victorian terrace, providing better access onto it and to the iconic views over the park and onto the Peak District.

  • Create opportunity through our heritage with activity programmes, volunteering schemes, interactive activity, and interpretation.

  • Improve and increase the biodiversity of the parkland.

  • Engage in planting for the future and conserving our wonderful original heritage features.

  • To create a heritage hub.

  • To create a more welcoming environment through opening up the building, improving access to our heritage and creating a more welcoming space.

  • Further reduce our carbon footprint through energy saving innovation.

  • Improve vehicular access to the venue.

  • Creating employment opportunities.


The funding, initially for the development stage of the project, will future proof The Whitworth and its heritage for the generations of tomorrow.

Alan Long, Chair of The Whitworth said: “We thank The National Lottery Heritage Fund and National Lottery players for their support. This funding will make a real difference to The Whitworth, the people of Derbyshire Dales and the environment. We are really excited about making this happen and working with local people over the next few years. There will be lots of opportunity for people to get involved in the project to ultimately continue the work of Sir Joseph and Lady Louisa Whitworth.”


Robyn Llewellyn, Director, England, Midlands & East at The National Lottery Heritage Fund said: “Investing in heritage means investing in the community it belongs to, which is why we are proud to support The Whitworth and 'Heart of the Park', thanks to National Lottery players.”

Heart of the Park
Whitworth History

Our building and park are steeped in Victorian industrial history. Lady Louisa Whitworth, wife of the industrialist Sir Joseph Whitworth, had a vision of creating a place where people could meet for leisure, recreational and educational purposes. The Whitworth is unique in that it is the only surviving Whitworth foundation that continues to operate under the terms of its original endowment.

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Click on the portraits to learn more about our founders.



View from cricket ground up towards Whitworth Institute


Today The Whitworth operates as a venue for a wide variety of events, all of which help to support the upkeep of the building and extensive park land. The Whitworth is a Charitable Trust dependent on the support of local people.  Every penny that comes from the sale of an ice cream in the cafe, or a donation made to us, is reinvested in the building and park. 

Whitworth Today
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What we do

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What we do

Reduce social isolation and loneliness in our community

Create stronger, rewarding relationships in families and local groups

Help people make greener choices and improve the environment

Enhance physical, social and mental well-being of local people

Management Team

Meet the Team

Donna Shimwell

Interim Events Manager

Kate Hurford

Finance Manager

Louie Parsons

Lead Venue Operative

The Whitworth is also supported by a dedicated, wider team who work incredibly hard behind the scenes to ensure The Whitworth is open 365 days a year. 

Our Board of Trustees

Our Board of Trustees

As a registered charity The Whitworth operates under the guidance of a Board of Trustees. Our Trustees all hold a variety of  skills across a wide range of areas which assist The Whitworth Team in the long-term management of the park and building. 

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Barry Mellor

Chair of the Trust

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Jason Farmer

Vice-Chair of the Trust

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Donna Shimwell

Ian Adkin

Chris Ragg

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Ian Walker

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James Wilson



Join Our Team

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Join Our Team
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