£2.6m to put historic mill sites back at heart of communities

£2.6m to put historic mill sites back at heart of communities

John O'Goats Mill

Two historic Scottish mills are to be brought back to life as community hubs and visitor attractions after securing lottery funding.

The National Lottery Heritage Fund has awarded up to £2.6 million to community-driven mill restoration projects, based more than 200 miles apart. The former John O’Groats Mill on the most northerly tip of mainland Scotland, and Carluke Mill which occupies a site near the centre of the busy Lanarkshire town in Scotland’s Central Belt.

The mills may be hundreds of miles apart but the communities’ ambitions for them are very close together. Historically a mill would have been at the centre of community life not just providing food and employment but also as a meeting place and hub.

One significant difference between the mills is that John O’Groats is a watermill while Carluke is believed to be Scotland’s last remaining windmill.

John O’Groats Mill Trust has secured up to £1,599,576 in support from the Heritage Fund to convert the former corn mill, which closed in 2001 after 250 years of operation, into a heritage visitor attraction and community venue.

£2.6m to put historic mill sites back at heart of communities

Artist's impression of the proposed development

Carluke Development Trust is leading on the Carluke High Mill and ONECAN Community Growing and Learning Garden which has secured Heritage Fund support of up to £1,019,127. The Trust, along with a number of partner organisations from the local community and further afield will rebuild the A-listed mill’s three historic buildings and develop the site as a heritage attraction, community learning hub and more.

Chair of Carluke Development Trust, Tom Sneddon, said: “Carluke Development Trust are delighted that funding has been received to help rebuild the historic buildings at the High Mill and to develop a heritage site, community garden and hub.

“The Mill has been a feature of the town landscape for hundreds of years and it has long been an ambition to restore it for the benefit of the Community.

“The Trust has worked with individuals and groups across our town to develop these proposals and this financial assistance will enable the creation of an amazing community hub and visitor attraction.”

Honorary president of Carluke Parish Historical Society (CPHS) Christine Warren said: “Carluke Parish Historical Society, founded in 1979, has always promoted the importance of our High Mill. The mill was used to attract people to the town in an 1817 handbill and now two hundred years later, it will once again draw people to Carluke, will promote our town’s rich heritage and will provide a wide variety of opportunities in skills training, volunteering and employment.”

£2.6m to put historic mill sites back at heart of communities

Carluke High Mill

John O’Groats Mill Trust chairman, Rognvald Brown, said: “We are delighted to have received this significant award from The National Lottery Heritage Fund to enable us to bring the mill back to life as a community venue and visitor attraction.

“The project will bring about meaningful change to this remote and rural community where facilities are scarce and will once again allow the mill to become a gathering place for the whole community.

“Our mill is particularly special as all the machinery is intact and in working order, our project includes any necessary repairs so we can keep it that way, and this important piece of rural industrial heritage will once more support the local economy and can become accessible to all.”

Heritage Fund Scotland director Caroline Clark said: “This month we launched our new 10 year funding strategy and these two projects encapsulate many of the key values at the centre of it.

“They aim to protect these important pieces of our social and industrial heritage, and put them at the heart of modern community life. The two Trusts are driven by impressive levels of ambition to draw on their local heritage to create something of real value to local people and visitors today and for future generations. It is thanks to National Lottery Players that we can support these projects and others that benefit people, places and our natural environment.”

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