FUNDRAISING efforts by a Sheffield community group wanting to restore an old mill building for community use have almost paid off.
The Friends of Millhouses Park have collected around £130,000 over four years and need just £8,000 more for the project.
Work has already started on restoring the building, the smaller of two sections of the old mill, which dates back to 1680.
The friends, who are working with Sheffield Council on the scheme, are proposing to tackle the larger building in a future project which they estimate could cost around £400,000 to restore.
Sheffield Hallam MP and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg visited the mill buildings to meet members of the friends and give his support to their work.
Mr Clegg said: “It is great news that, not for the first time, the Friends of Millhouses Park have come to the fore and are leading the project to bring these important historic buildings back into use.
“I am hugely impressed by the plans and I would urge everyone to get involved, particularly with the efforts to raise the necessary funding.
“A mill has been on this site for more than 1,000 years. I’m sure that with a little help and support, this exciting project will see the mill remain an asset for the local community for many more years to come.”
John Brighton, chairman of the Friends of Millhouses Park, said: “Ultimately we hope that, with the support of people within the local area and beyond, we can bring these buildings back to life and start the next part of their history in the Millhouses area.”
Mr Brighton said the friends are ‘really grateful’ for the funding received so far towards the restoration.
Some £50,000 has come from the Heritage Lottery Fund, £4,900 from the Big Lottery Fund, £11,700 from Sheffield Council’s South West Community Assembly, £7,500 from Sheffield Town Trust and £4,000 from Charles Hayward Foundation.
The remaining £50,000 has come from Sheffield Council.
Mr Brighton added: “We have also raised £800 by holding a fashion show and £1,000 from a Wassail musical evening.
“We just need another £8,000 to complete the required funding.”
Mr Brighton said the smaller mill building is ‘about the size of a double garage’ and will have two floors of accommodation.
The friends intend to offer part of the building for hire and have the rest open for community use.
There have been mill buildings on the site for more than 800 years although the current buildings date back to 1680.
They are not listed because of numerous changes made over the years.
Mill in numbers:
Cost of restoration project at Millhouses Mill - £130K
Remaining sum which needs to be raised - £8,000
Age of the buildings at Millhouses Mill in years - 333