Rosefield Mills ©Kerr Martin

Rosefield Mills ©Kerr Martin

Local building conservation group Dumfries Historic Building Trust (DHBT) has secured funding to begin the process that will save one of Dumfries’ favourite buildings from further neglect and possible demolition.

Rosefield Mills were once the largest woollen mills in Dumfries, positioned beside the River Nith opposite Dock Park, where once stood so many Victorian mills.

However the much-loved, iconic red brick and sandstone landmark, which holds a vital part of Dumfries’ heritage and identity, is currently deemed “At-Risk” by the Scottish Industrial Heritage Society.

The building came up for auction at the beginning of the year and since then the DHBT has been working to raise funds and gain support to bring this beautiful building back into the life of the town.

The last element of the Stage 1 funding was approved on Monday thanks to Dumfries & Galloway Council, an anonymous charitable trust and the Architectural Heritage Fund, and the project team has moved swiftly into action with the Feasibility Team holding their first meeting last Tuesday.

Over the next three months a series of community consultations lead by Julia Frost of social enterprise charity, PAS, will gather information about what the Dumfries needs and wants to see happen in the Mills.

Artist's impression of restored Rosefield Mills © Purcell, 2017

Artist’s impression of restored Rosefield Mills © Purcell, 2017

A thorough investigation of the condition and potential of the building itself will be carried out by Purcell Architects and a business plan to test it all will be developed by Michael Booth of Clare Consulting.

The final proposal will be a distillation of the information the team gets from the community so DHBT is keen to invite everyone to take an active interest and get involved in the process.

The DHBT has been assisted through these early stages by the Prince’s Regeneration Trust, BRICK scheme, whose experience has been invaluable.

Julia Frost, leading the community engagement, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to discover what new facilities people would like to see. The regeneration of Rosefield Mills will make an enormous difference to the town and the River Nith.”

Between now and April 2018 the feasibility team is asking locals to look out for a series of events asking the community to contribute thoughts, ideas and its visions for the new Rosefield Mills.

Architect and partner at Purcell, Niall Phillips, said: “This building is a rare gem. Dumfries is so lucky. Its location, its exuberant style, its sheer size give this project a huge advantage. Great things can happen here.”