Iconic mill’s restoration a step closer

AMBITIONS plans to safeguard an iconic Suffolk landmark have taken a giant step forward, it can be revealed today.

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has given the green light to Woodbridge Tide Mill Trust to develop their proposals for the building’s conservation and restoration.

Continually shifting mudbanks, tidal surges and rising sea levels present an increasingly serious threat to the mill structure and it is in danger of falling into the River Deben.

As a result the Trust have drawn up plans that will hopefully secure the historic building for future generations.

The HLF has now awarded the organisation a first round pass - providing �13,800 to help them produce more detailed proposals within two years.

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The Trust are eventually hoping for �970,000 of HLF support for their estimated �1.2m project.

Nigel Barratt, of the Woodbridge Tide Mill Trust, said: “Alongside the restoration and protection of this historic building, we have proposed an exciting and innovative project that will deliver an authentically restored and working tide mill, capable of producing flour from grain.

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“It will provide an almost unique interpretative experience to demonstrate and explain how our ancestors harnessed the power of the tide to help fuel the growth of the nation from the mediaeval period through the industrial revolution into the 20th century.”

The Trust’s proposals include improvements to protect the mill against the tide and a new wheelhouse to provide more space for maintenance and viewing.

Interactive models will also provide hands on experience in how the mill and its machinery works, supplemented by practical demonstrations and workshops.

Displays and hand-held audio guides will describe the history of the mill and highlight the connection between tidal power and other sources of sustainable energy.

Robyn Llewellyn, head of HLF east of England, said although this recent development was an important step there was still work for the Trust to do.

N Suffolk Icons see page 21.

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