Grant almost completes fund for mill restoration

Campaign: Celebrations to mark the start of fundraising campaign by friends group to restore Millhouses Mill.                            PICTURE: STEVE ELLIS
Campaign: Celebrations to mark the start of fundraising campaign by friends group to restore Millhouses Mill. PICTURE: STEVE ELLIS

WORK is set to start on restoration of a historic Sheffield mill after council bosses offered a grant which almost completes the necessary money for the project - just over a year after the start of fundraising.

The £59,982 cash for Millhouses Mill is among almost £8 million of capital spending to be rubber-stamped by Sheffield Council’s cabinet at a meeting tomorrow. The money is mostly from the council’s general budget but also includes £15,000 allocated by the South West Community Assembly.

It follows fundraising by the Friends of Millhouses Park which has secured £67,893, mostly from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Around £10,000 is still required for the scheme but the friends group has announced building work will begin in September to restore the roof and walls at the mill’s small building, which is currently in disrepair.

The fundraising campaign was launched by the friends last June.

John Brighton, of the Friends of Millhouses Park, said: “It’s excellent that the council is supporting us. The restoration will take until December, then we hope to use the building as a base for community groups and a business.

“Once we have completed restoring the small building we will consider the large one.”

The Grade II listed mill buildings date back to at least the early 18th century. There has been a mill on the site for 1,000 years with the first facility built by the monks at Beauchief Abbey.

The bulk of the council’s extra capital spending involves £5.4 million to be spent on road repairs before the £2 billion contract begins to upgrade the city’s roads and footpaths.

There will be money for footpaths, street lights and resurfacing - particularly on minor residential and rural roads.

A further £2.3 million will fund compulsory purchase of land for the new Sheffield to Rotherham bus rapid transit route, which involves building a new road under junction 34 of the M1 from Meadowhall to Templeborough.

There will also be £50,000 spent on upgrading a cycle road between Handsworth and Waverley and £30,000 for new pedestrian crossings on roads in the Peak District National Park within Sheffield’s city boundary.

■ The council cabinet meeting tomorrow is also to approve a change to a £300,000 project to upgrade the Chaucer shopping area at Parson Cross.

Money has been allocated to improve the ‘public realm’ outside shops, with new surfaces, street lighting, seats, bins and landscaping.

Some improvements have already been made to the area, after construction of the new Asda store and library and learning centre.

A council report said: “The project will tie together the different sections of finished public realm to bring the rest of Chaucer centre up to an acceptable standard. Construction will cost £220,000 with the rest of the money going on ‘professional’ fees.”