Tide Mill gets financial boost

AN HISTORIC building known as an iconic symbol of Suffolk has suddenly received a huge financial boost to stop it falling into a river.

Richard Smith

AN HISTORIC building known as an iconic symbol of Suffolk has suddenly received a huge financial boost to stop it falling into a river.

The Woodbridge Tide Mill is to receive £50,000 from the town council towards the spiralling restoration costs which are now estimated at £1.36million.

Councillors were stung into action after they were criticised by the Heritage Lottery Fund for originally giving only £5,000.


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Lottery officers admitted they were somewhat surprised that the town council, which owns the mill, was only giving a few thousand pounds when the Tide Mill was an extremely important building.

Woodbridge Town Council's original £5,000 grant was overshadowed by the Woodbridge Community Council which was giving £25,000.

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Now the full council has decided to increase the grant to £50,000. That decision could be too late to be taken into account by the lottery when it makes a decision on a bid of nearly £1m from the Tide Mill Trust for the restoration.

The full town council increased its grant on Tuesdayand an announcement is expected any day now from the Heritage Lottery Fund on the main grant bid.

The mill, built in 1973, requires urgent work on the foundations. A protective concrete apron is breaking up and being under-scoured and if this is not replaced then the mill will fall into the river.

The mill also needs other repairs and a £78,000 fire safety programme, and there will be enhanced facilities to attract visitors.

At a meeting of the town council's finance and general purposes committee Cliff Cocker, deputy mayor, said he was disappointed that the town council was being criticised over its grant, and he said the public should perhaps be consulted for their views on making a more substantial donation.

Former mayor Nigel Barratt warned that it was important to maintain the Tide Mill otherwise the town council, as owner and custodian trustee, could be liable for more than £300,000 for essential work in future years.

Mr Barrett said he did not want to see the Grade I-listed building put on the Buildings at Risk register.

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