Efforts to restore a unique piece of the town’s industrial heritage have been given a boost with the award of a major new grant.
Leigh Building Preservation Trust (LBPT), the charity restoring the iconic grade-II Leigh Spinners Mill, has been awarded more than £55,000 to continue redeveloping the engine house.
“This money gives us the opportunity to carry on with the repair of the engine and to create a space to accommodate schools and group visits.”John Hurst
LBPT has received £30,700 in the shape of a Biffa Award, £14,700 from the Association of Industrial Architecture and £10,00 from the Big Lottery Awards for All scheme to renovate the historic building.
Much of the money will be spent on creating a new facility for school pupils and other groups wanting to visit the mill and find out more about the unique engine’s history.
Chair of the Leigh Spinners Engine Group John Hurst said: “This money gives us the opportunity to carry on with the repair of the engine and to create a space to accommodate schools and group visits.
“We’ve got money to completely update the old compressor room next to the engine house, repair the roof, open up the bricked-up windows and provide water and electricity.
“We can create a fantastic learning space for local students that will also double as a community room for groups and residents.
“The undercroft, the area below the 67-ton flywheel, will also be revamped to make it safe for visitors too, and to give us somewhere for our volunteers to undertake the engineering tasks for the engine. We’re also upgrading our security measures to protect this irreplaceable piece of our heritage.
“We’ve received money from the Big Lottery’s scheme to fit the learning space out with a kitchenette, heating, blinds and all the equipment necessary to entertain and inform both students and visitors.
“Finally, we’ve had money to use for the restoration of the engine and we’ll be putting this to good use too. We need to overhaul and certificate the original overhead crane that runs the length of the engine house in order to undertake the heavy lifting associated with some of the repairs.”
The team has already been hard at work restoring the Yates and Thom twin-horizontal cross-compound engine.
To find out more about the project, search for Friends of Leigh Spinners on Facebook.