Party time at old mill

Celebration at the Millhouses Corn Mill to mark the start of the restoration project for the 1,000 year old mill...
Celebration at the Millhouses Corn Mill to mark the start of the restoration project for the 1,000 year old mill...
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CROWDS gathered at an historic Sheffield industrial site for a party to celebrate news it is to be renovated and brought back into use.

Artist Joe Scarborough and Lord Mayor Coun Sylvia Dunkley joined members of the Friends of Millhouses Park and residents at Millhouses Corn Mill, where people had a tour of the buildings, which are almost 1,000 years old, and enjoy live music from performers Pete Brown and the Brick Budgies.

The mill is in a semi-derelict state – but a project led by the Friends of Millhouses Park to bring the buildings back into use has been granted £50,000 of National Lottery cash.

Millhouses Corn Mill has stood beside the River Sheaf for almost 1,000 years, at the junction of Abbeydale Road South and Archer Road and the surrounding suburb was named after the building.

It was originally linked to Beauchief Abbey but the dissolution of the monasteries in 1536 saw the mill pass into the ownership of the local Lords of Ecclesall.

The mill ground flour for the next 400 years, originally using water power but changing to steam during the 19th century. New technology replaced the stone-grinding methods in the 1930s and, along with many other mills of its type, it closed and the site fell into disuse.

It was bought by Sheffield Council, which used a neighbouring building for storage, but the site was abandoned six years ago.

The award of £50,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund allows work to restore the building to start in the autumn.

Bids are being made to other sources for £140,000 to improve the interior, so it can be developed for community use – although specific plans for what facilities it will house have not yet been determined.

■ Up to 1,000 people flocked to Millhouses Park for a new skateboarding and BMX-riding event organised by Geoff Hibbard. The event included demonstrations of spectacular stunts – and the crowds were also entertained with live music.