IHBC’s ‘Heritage from the doorstep’: Restoration of Sunderland’s Fulwell Mill sails complete 

websiteThe restoration of Sunderland’s historic Fulwell Mill – built in 1808 and closed to the public since 2012 on health and safety grounds – has taken a major step forward with the ‘replacement of its four sails completed’, the Sunderland Echo tells its readers.

The Sunderland Echo writes:

The cap and sails were removed in 2015 because of their dangerous condition, and the same year the mill was placed on Historic England’s Heritage-at-Risk Register. Now a project to restore the mill to its former glory has taken a major step forward, with the replacement of its four sails completed. This year’s bad weather and the availability of one of the country’s only specialist millwrights, meant restoration work had to be delayed. When the work is complete, the mill will be handed over by Sunderland City Council to Sunderland North Community Business Centre (SNCBC) who will manage and maintain it.

Volunteer recruitment is also ongoing and SNCBC is keen to hear from anyone who can help ensure the mill is maintained for future generations to enjoy. The cultural heritage restoration project has been a partnership between Sunderland City Council and Historic England who both helped fund the costs of repairs and restoration. The Grade II* listed building can now be removed from Historic England’s Heritage-at-Risk Register where it was placed in 2015. It was closed as a visitor attraction in 2012 because of storm damage with the cap and sails later removed in 2015 because of their dangerous condition.

Since then, the council has been working with Beaumont Brown Conservation Architects and Bonwick Milling Heritage Consultancy on the restoration scheme approved by Historic England. Kate Wilson, Heritage at Risk Principal for Historic England in the North East, said: ‘We are delighted to see Fulwell Mill fully restored. Repairing buildings like this requires specialist skills and has been carried out by a team of millwrights possessing the necessary expertise. ‘Historic England actively promotes and supports the use of traditional building skills as preserving this expertise is fundamental to repairing historic buildings. ‘The specialist work carried out by Owlsworth IJP has restored Fulwell Mill to its rightful place on the city’s skyline and is testament to our shared commitment to preserving our industrial and cultural heritage.’ If you are interested in becoming a volunteer at Fulwell Mill then please contact SNCBC on 0191 537 3231 9am – 5pm for further information.

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