£100k fundraising bid launched to save rot-hit Heage Windmill

Some of the rot in Heage Windmill.
Some of the rot in Heage Windmill.

A major fundraising bid has been launched to fix Heage Windmill – after severe damage was found at the attraction.

Inspectors have identified widespread rot in major structural components of the mill with repairs set to cost almost £100,000.

Heage Windmill.

Heage Windmill.

Heage Windmill Society (HWS) is now urging the community and visitors to dig deep as part of its Trouble at Mill appeal.

The iconic building remains open to the public but the mill’s sails will stop turning and flour will not be produced until the repairs are carried out.

Piers Bostock, HWS chairman and a regular tour guide at the mill, said: “This is a serious setback but provided that the community gives its full support the mill will be back in full operation next season.”

Alan Gifford, a trustee at HWS, added: “The repairs can only be undertaken by competent millwrights and there is a major shortage of these.

“Every effort will be made to ensure the repairs are done as soon as possible.

“The sails will be removed in due course to minimise the risk of further damage.”

The mill will still be open to the public at weekends from 11am until 4pm with tours of the interior and a full explanation of the current problems.

Mr Gifford added: “We really anticipate and hope the public will continue to support us and come to visit the mill.”

The Grade II listed building – which dates back to at least 1791 – is owned by Derbyshire County Council and operated by the Heage Windmill Society.

It was restored to working order in 2002 and has since become a major tourist attraction in Derbyshire, attracting up to 6,000 visitors last year.

• If you would like to donate, send a cheque made payable to the Trouble at Mill appeal to Danny Ashley, treasurer at Heage Windmill Society, 12 Woodland Way, Old Tupton, Chesterfield, Derbyshire, S42 6JA.