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Things are looking up for old mill
FLOUR could be ground again by the end of the year at York's only surviving windmill - 75 years after it was closed down.
The Lincolnshire-style tower mill, which was built in 1770 and stopped working in 1933, is currently undergoing a renovation programme through a partnership between City of York Council and Holgate Windmill Preservation Society.
Bob Anderton, chairman of the preservation society, is now applying for final grants to finish of the restoration.
If successful, Mr Anderton said the windmill could be renovated by the end of the year.
He said: "We have just applied for funding of £44,000 from a private organisation - and if we get approved then it looks like we are then pretty close to getting all the money we need to fully restore the windmill."
"We have got all the parts for the caps and sails so that just needs to be assembled and be craned on top of the windmill.
"If any, the only problem I would say we have is getting the millwright on the site. Millwrights are few and far between in the country - it is a dying profession.
"Millwright Tom Davies is working on the windmill and we are lucky in that he is one of the best in the country, but he is obviously very busy with other projects, but once we get him on site work should progress well."
The preservation society has so far, along with funds given by the council, raised £500,000 to restore the Grade II listed building, which is the last existing windmill of nearly 20 mills which once surrounded York.
The biggest contributors inlcude £66,500 from the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation, £50,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund, £25,000 from environmental body Yorventure, and £22,000 from the Local Heritage Initiative. Environmental charity GrantScape gave the society a boost of funds in December last year with a grant of £97,856.
The cash has gone towards a newly renovated and rendered brick tower, a new white cap on the top of the mill and is currently funding the renovation of the inside of the mill.
Mr Anderton said: "At the moment a lot of work is going on inside the windmill.
"We have several joiners currently on site working on putting flooring down and then they will begin putting an oak staircase and banisters inside.
"Things are progressing nicely; work is going very well indeed."
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