The people of Heckington are celebrating today (Friday) as they welcome HRH The Princess Royal to officially open the regeneration project at Heckington Windmill to the public.
This marks the end of a 13 year programme to save and restore the windmill site.
The Princess will enjoy a personal guided tour with Trust chairman, Charles Pinchbeck and will meet 50 of the volunteers behind the project.
The local Heckington Windmill Trust have raised £1.6m including securing the largest ever Heritage Lottery grant for a windmill project.
It has been used with thousands of hours of volunteer time to create a unique centre telling the story of the mill and how it still has a role today in grinding flour for our food. The whole site has been regenerated, with the granary rebuilt, the historic bake house reinstated and the Miller’s House restored to its Edwardian glory.
As well as the world’s only working 8-sail windmill the site now boasts an award-winning micro-brewery using malt from the mill, and a fully-functioning bakehouse and tea room that serve delicious cakes made from the flour.
Mr Pinchbeck said: “Years of hard work by Trust members backed by funding made possible by National Lottery players has transformed this unique part of our heritage into something truly amazing. It’s been a great partnership with support from Lincolnshire County Council, North Kesteven District Council, Heckington Parish Council, Heritage Lincolnshire and the whole community. We are delighted and honoured that The Princess Royal is coming to inaugurate it. It means so much to the village – they’re even ringing the church bells specially.”
Attendance of the event is by invitation only due to limitations of space.