Public appeal for Tide Mill restoration

A PUBLIC appeal is to be launched to raise money towards the restoration of a landmark Tide Mill in Suffolk and convert it into a working mill.The ambitious project to upgrade the Woodbridge Tide Mill has taken a major step forward after Suffolk Coastal District Council agreed in principle to support a planning application for the Grade I-listed building.

By Richard Smith

A PUBLIC appeal is to be launched to raise money towards the restoration of a landmark Tide Mill in Suffolk and convert it into a working mill.

The ambitious project to upgrade the Woodbridge Tide Mill has taken a major step forward after Suffolk Coastal District Council agreed in principle to support a planning application for the Grade I-listed building.

Now an application for lottery funding will be finalised - but 10% of the total costs of the project have to come from the public.


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At least £50,000 will be required towards the £500,000-plus project and details will be unveiled at the Tide Mill on September 8 and 9 when the Maritime Woodbridge celebrations are held.

Fred Reynolds, a Tide Mill trustee, said: “The more people that are alerted to the fact that we will have to raise money through partnership funding, the better.

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“We have to raise 10% through local sources and we are going ahead with the project but this will be one of the hurdles that we have to overcome.”

He added: “We are very pleased with the council's decision. A number of things had been held up by the doubt hanging over the project but now we have approval the next thing to do is to establish how much it will cost in order to implement the plans.

“It will be early spring before the lottery application goes in and it will take a couple of months to determine it.”

The aim is to grind corn and produce flour, and to blend traditional craft with modern technology to encourage more people to visit the mill.

This will include putting in a new water wheel, rebuilding the wheelhouse, internal alterations, a toilet, new river defences to protect the mill from erosion and the construction of a new channel to carry water from River Deben into the millpond.

The project will allow the mill, which dates from 1793, to operate for around 30 years. At present, scouring from the river is undermining the mill's concrete apron which protects the mill's foundations, and the new apron and sheet piling will ensure the long-term protection of the building.

Mud needs to be dredged from the millpond to ensure machinery can work but the trust has not resolved with the Environment Agency issues surrounding the disposal of the contaminated mud.

Mr Reynolds said the latest proposal under consideration was to dredge mud back into the river. He said this could be better than lorries taking the mud by road to the landfill site at Great Blakenham.

More than 30 round-trips would be required and the mud would have to be dried at another location before going to the landfill depot.

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