Delight at new cash windfall for project regenerating landmark mill
Leigh Spinners Mill has been given more than £17,000 as a lifeline grant from the Government’s £1.57bn Culture Recovery Fund.
The money will help fund a condition survey and design for Mill One for the grade II* listed former industrial site, which is being turned into a hub for businesses, community groups and leisure activities.
So far considerable work has been done to restore Mill Two but the latest cash input will help the Leigh Building Preservation Trust (LBPT) come up with the plans for the older of the two mills on site.
Accredited conservation architects Bernard Taylor and Partners will be appointed to do the work and discussions with then take place with Wigan Council about a large-scale Heritage Lottery bid in 2021.
The lifeline grants are designed to protect heritage sites and ensure that jobs and access to culture and history in local communities are protected during the months ahead.
Grants of up to £25,000 are being dished out to cover urgently-needed maintenance, repairs and development funding.
LBPT chair Peter Rowlinson said: “This funding is essential to the submission of a major bid for funding in 2021. The lack of an up-to-date condition survey was specifically mentioned as a requirement by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and this work is critical to securing a successful application.
“We are delighted to be able to appoint an experienced conservation architect and hope we can show the results to our local community next year.”
The funding comes from a part of the Culture Recovery Fund called the Heritage Stimulus Fund and is administered on behalf of the Government by Historic England.
It is hoped the injection of cash will rescue precious heritage buildings in need and protect livelihoods for heritage specialists and contractors working in the sector.
The mill has also received another boost as its 200-ton steam engine is turning again after two years of inactivity.
Its starter motor had to be completely rebuilt by a specialist engineering firm and then the concrete floor the amazing piece of kit sits on had to be repaired as well.
The work paid off as the engine was successfully tested on December 19.
LBPT had to raise more than £10,000 for the work on the one-ton barring engine and this was achieved thanks to a National Lottery Heritage Fund Emergency Fund award.
Volunteers will be able to see the engine in action and a team from Wigan Council will film it, before the public will be allowed to see it once again after the Covid-19 restrictions are eased.
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