PLANNERS at North Kesteven District Council have given the go-ahead for Heckington’s unique windmill to undergo a £1million restoration.
The Friends of Heckington Eight Sail Windmill have already secured £50,000 of Heritage Lottery first round funding for the project, which will involve repairing the Granary building to form a reception area and shop, with a lift and new staircase providing access to the mill floor. They will be submitting a £780,000 Lottery bid for the main project this month
The bake house will be re-instated with a traditional 19th century bread oven for demonstrations, the rest of the building will be a modern bakery for teaching and the former garage will become a solar-powered toilet block.
The Eight Sail micro brewery will stay in the sack store, a children’s play area will also be built and an old Nissen Hut will be used for storage.
Chairman of the Friends of the Mill Charles Pinchbeck said at last Tuesday’s planning committee meeting: “We have cared for the Mill for 30 years and over the last eight years we have been working with organisations to serve and enhance the mill and to make it attractive for visitors and give them an enjoyable experience.”
Neighbour Denis Gambles expressed his concerns over visitors’ vehicles, saying he would not object to the project as a whole, however, as long as the proposal is tweaked to accommodate larger vehicles.
Heckington ward Councillor Stewart Ogden said that this is a fantastic project for Heckington and that he wholeheartedly supported the development. Council Leader Marion Brighton added her thoughts: “This is something I have been hoping for Heckington for a long time, I am delighted to see that the sails are being repaired, it is the only eight-sail mill in the country and this is an enormous thing for Heckington.”
Councillors were unanimous in voting to approve the project goes ahead.