Heckington’s landmark eight sail mill is poised to undergo a major transformation in the next few weeks thanks to a mammoth fundraising effort.
A seven year campaign by the Heckington Windmill Trust has raised a staggering £1.7m which will see the world’s only working eight-sail mill restored and re-generated as a top class visitor centre celebrating the county’s food and engineering heritage.
Funding has come from over a dozen organisations across the UK, including a major grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Trust chairman Charles Pinchbeck said: “It is the largest amount ever raised for a windmill project in Britain. That really shows the national importance of the Heckington project. Over 95 per cent of the money has come from outside Lincolnshire, which is great news for the county. It’s a tremendous achievement by the local community.”
The project will see the restoration of all the historic buildings around the site, including the granary, bakehouse and miller’s house.
The mill is already open to visitors and grinding flour and malt. Visitors can sample delicious bread and cakes in the mill house tea rooms. The malt is used by the on-site micro-brewery to create its award-winning ales and beers, including Rolling Stone – Britain’s only stone-ground malt beer.
Restoration work is expected to start in the next few weeks ready for the 2017 visitor season. The mill, brewery and tearooms are open every weekend and then every day in the summer holidays.
Heckington Windmill Trust is a registered charity and members are all volunteers. It was built in 1830 with five sails, and rebuilt in 1892 following a thunderstorm by world-renowned Lincolnshire engineers Tuxford and Son with eight sails rescued from a mill at Boston.