Settle Hydro was built in 2009 on the site of Bridge End Mill, one of a number of mills that operated on this stretch of the River Ribble until the mid-twentieth century.
The Hydro is powered by water that is drawn from the Ribble immediately above the weir, through a sluice gate, along the mill's original head race, down the Archimedes Screw (the turbine!) and back into the Ribble a short distance from the base of the weir. Electricity is generated by the falling water rotating the Archimedes Screw turbine which, in turn, drives a generator. The electricity is fed by a direct line to the old mill building which now houses a number of apartments. Electricity that is not needed by the apartments is fed into the National Grid.
Settle Hydro is owned by Settle Hydro Limited, an Industrial & Provident Society for the Benefit of the Community (a special type of co-operative). The Society is managed by a group of voluntary Directors who are appointed by the Society's Members (Shareholders) at Annual General Meetings. Membership of the Society is open to any person, organisation or business that meets the requirements of the Society's Rules and invests at least £250 in the Society's shares. Each Member has one vote at General Meetings irrespective of the number of shares they own.