Fundraisers needed to save iconic tide mill

CAMPAIGNERS fighting to protect the future of an iconic Suffolk landmark are launching a fresh fundraising bid to preserve the historic building.

The Woodbridge Tide Mill Trust wants to spend �1.2million to restore the popular attraction to its former glory.

It has already received a small amount from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to take its plans forward, but it needs to show other money is in place before it applies for a larger sum of �970,000 in November.

To be in with a chance of getting the cash, the trust has to show matched funding from its own resources in excess of �200,000 which means – after taking into account other grants – it needs to raise �50,000.

To help with the fundraising effort, it has re-launched the Friends of Woodbridge Tide Mill, which was marked with a special celebration yesterday evening.

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The group was disbanded around 10 years ago, but has been reformed in time to support the HLF bid.

Tony Hubbard, chairman of the Woodbridge Tide Mill Trust, said: “When the mill was first restored, the Friends were very important and helped out in a variety of roles. However unfortunately, as is the way with these things, the members got older and people moved away and the whole idea had to be disbanded.

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“However, we think now is the right time to restart it all afresh. It is a great way of getting the community involved with the project.”

As well as improving the tide mill’s foundations, the trust’s proposals will also see a new wheelhouse constructed, allowing the repair of equipment and providing more space for maintenance and viewing.

There will also be interactive models on how the mill and its machinery works, practical demonstrations, workshops, displays, exhibition boards and handheld audio guides.

Mr Hubbard added: “The plans are very exciting and will ensure the future sustainability of the tide mill. There is no doubt that in the event of the building being neglected there would be a serious threat to the structure of the property, which is universally regarded as an icon of the town and surrounding area.

“We appreciate that these are difficult economic times, but the trustees are determined to safeguard the mill – whether or not the HLF bid is successful.”

If you would like to help, send a cheque payable to “Woodbridge Tide Mill Trust” to administrative officer Terina Booker at 52 Border Cot Lane, Wickham Market, Suffolk, IP13 0EZ or call her on 01728 746959 or e-mail for more information on the Friends.

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