Bedford High School’s Hall was the venue for a consultation event about the exciting proposals for the historic Leigh Spinners Mill.
Organised by Leigh Building Preservation Trust (LBPT), the packed event gave invited guests and members of the public the chance to inspect plans for the regeneration of the Mill. The potential £10m scheme would see the Grade II listed building brought dramatically back to life and given over for a host of exciting new uses. These include spaces for local business growth and development, spaces for community use and a creative industries hub.
Opened in 1913, the building is one of the largest cotton spinning mills in Greater Manchester. The site stretches over two buildings and houses the largest mill engine of its kind in the UK. The original Leigh Spinners Company continue their operations - manufacturing commercial carpet tiles and artificial turf - in the lower part of the site.
LBPT members believe that the redevelopment of the Mill could bring with it a host of new employment and other opportunities and provide a real boost for the local economy.
LBPT Vice Chair David Liggett said: “Our plans for the Mill began over two years ago. It is a listed building but much of it has stood empty for some time and was beginning to fall into disrepair. It’s a big part of Leigh’s heritage and we believe it can also be a big part of the town’s future. We have already made significant progress and the Mill Engine has been refurbished and opened as a visitor attraction at the weekends. The next phase of the plan is to secure funding to refurbish the Mill 2 building, which we would hope to have completed by 2017. This would then open the door for further funding bids to transform the Mill 1 building to an even higher specification.”
David added: “We believe the scope of this project is vast and if it all goes according to plan it could be as significant to our town as the Leigh Sports Village development.”
"This is an amazing plan which we think would be a real boost not just to the local community in Leigh but to the whole of our borough and beyond."
Mayor Of Wigan Borough Cllr Susan Loudon
The Bedford event was also a chance for members of the public to have their say on the plans, ask questions and show their support.
Mayor of Wigan Borough Cllr Susan Loudon and local ward Councillor Keith Cuniffe were on hand to inspect the plans and listen to the presentation from LBPT’s panel of experts.
Cllr Loudon said: “This is an amazing plan which we think would be a real boost not just to the local community in Leigh but to the whole of our borough and beyond. We’re all really behind LBPT and we want to give them as much support as possible to ensure these plans become a reality. I think it is really important that the group holds events such as this to make sure the local community are kept informed and can have their say. I would urge everyone in Leigh to get involved, find out more and get behind a project that could provide fantastic opportunities for local people for generations to come.”
Visitors to the exhibition were equally impressed with the proposals.
“It’s a brilliant plan,” said visitor Hannah Crosby. “I really like the idea of there being plenty of space for the community to use. It’s just what the town of Leigh needs. I’m glad I came along to find out more and I really hope it will be a real success.”
Whilst fellow visitor Wendy Morrison added: “The great thing about this project is that it is being led by local people and volunteers who really want to make a difference. I think it is up to everyone in our town to get involved because we all stand to benefit from the end result.”
- You can find out more about the plans for Leigh Spinners Mill and find out how you can get involved in the project by visiting: http://leighspinners.org/
- Students from Bedford High School’s Enterprising Media Team have created a special video report about the regeneration of Leigh Spinners Mill. You can watch it here: http://bit.ly/1SUBPeO
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