Project will include 2017 celebrations of windmill's bicentenary
Wimbledon's iconic windmill is to receive a £100,000 Lottery grant towards a project to restore the sails and wooden tower as well as well as extend its programme of activities.
The Grade II* listed structure located at the heart of Wimbledon Common is an important building of local significance but is in great need of repair and reinvigoration.
Water penetration over recent years has resulted in degradation of the building’s structure and this was found to have contributed to the dramatic collapse of one of the sails in August 2015 (see right).
Wimbledon and Putney Commons Conservators made the successful bid for Heritage Lottery Funding, in conjunction with the Windmill Museum Trustees.
The funding from National Lottery players will enable the necessary extensive restoration of the Windmill’s sails and wooden tower to be achieved over the summer of 2016.
The funding also provides a timely opportunity for the Windmill Museum to develop and increase its engagement both with the volunteers who run it and the people who visit it.
This project will include a major celebration of the Windmill’s bicentenary in 2017. The Conservators are contributing from their own funds to the overall costs of this initial project which is likely to reach at least £138,000. A generous donation has been received from a local benefactor, but further donations (which can be gift-aided) are welcome.
Plans for the celebration in 2017 and to develop the museum’s displays will form the second stage of the project that will be announced shortly.
Prue Whyte, Chairman of the Conservators stated: “We are delighted to have received the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund which will enable us to start the urgent and necessary renovation works, including restoring the sails to this iconic Wimbledon landmark.”
Andrew Simon, Chairman of the Windmill Museum Trustees said: “The Windmill is a fragile treasure made mostly of timber and the museum is run entirely by volunteers. The support of the Heritage Lottery Fund in taking the museum forward to a new stage in its life is hugely appreciated.”
The Windmill Museums opening season for 2016 starts at 2pm on Saturday March 26. There will be “windmill making” activities for children the season gets underway.
The museum says it always needs volunteers and there is a new range of exciting roles, including education, running events as well as room stewarding. Please get in touch if you would like to know more: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stuart Hobley, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund London, said: “This project offers a fantastic opportunity for local people to get more engaged with this significant structure in the heart of their community. The project will not only rescue this distinctive landmark, but will also encourage visitors, volunteers and the local community to explore and learn more about it.”
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March 16, 2016