Historic mill offers up stunning tower top views
Leigh Spinners Mill, which is being transformed into a leisure and retail hub, is now allowing groups of people to enjoy the panoramic prospects of the North West from the top of the old water tower.
A team from Leigh Building Preservation Trust (LBPT), which is overseeing the massive renovation project, painstakingly cut away the cast-iron water tank, which had not been used for half a century, and moved it out of its position by hand.
The result is a three-sided open viewing platform allowing visitors to scan the whole of Leigh and Wigan, with eagle-eyed visitors able to see as far as Rivington Pike, Manchester, the Pennines and North Wales.
However, as access is via a 20ft ring ladder, only small groups under supervision will currently be allowed up on set occasions.
LBPT chair Peter Rowlinson said: “The result of our work on mill two’s tower is that we’ve created a room seven floors up overlooking Leigh and much of the North West.It’s a tremendous view from up there and another asset to the mill. It’s already proved popular.
“As it’s a ladder to access it we’re a bit nervous about letting people up there without supervision. It’s safe, but not everybody can make it.”
The new panoramic platform has already been given a thumbs-up by a member of one of the first groups allowed up on Easter Sunday.
Wendy Grehan, who took these pictures, said: “It was a wonderful experience and I am hoping that this will become a regular feature at the mill. It has been opened up for people to take in the wonderful views of our town, you could even see the Manchester skyline.”
The tower renovations have been funded by the Enovert Trust, a charity which allocates tax money for waste sent to landfill, and the D’Oyly Carte Trust, aligned to the well-known opera company.
The team at Leigh Spinners Mill is now turning its attention to the front of the building, with plans to improve the entrance and also further develop the lodge, which is something of a wildlife haven.
Mr Rowlinson said: “We want to make the entrance a lot more like a visitor attraction and a lot less like an industrial site.
“We also have a wide variety of wildlife here and we’re looking to develop that. We have peregrine falcons nesting in the mill and we get kingfishers, herons and bats around the site.”