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Heritage Lottery to restore Scottish wool mill

07
Apr '08
A group of unassuming but fascinating buildings in Morayshire conceal the last complete remains of the history of Scotland's textile industry, where cloth has been manufactured continuously on site since 1784. Knockando Woolmill in the Spey Valley has been sent a lifeline from the Heritage Lottery Fund as it awarded a Stage One Pass for a grant of £1.3million and development funding of £120,000.

The mill and its buildings, which featured in the BBC Two series 'Restoration' are in imminent danger of collapse. School trips can no longer visit because of the risk. The original machinery, acquired over the centuries, is also badly in need of restoration.

The present weaver, Hugh Jones, using expertise passed down through generations, has managed to single-handedly sustain the traditions of the UK's oldest surviving district woollen mill but he is keen to ensure that his specialist knowledge and skills can be passed on to future generations.

The project to conserve Knockando as a sustainable working mill, tourist attraction and centre for training in traditional craft skills has been given the green light by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Commenting from the Knockando Woolmill Trust, Jana Hutt, Chair, said:
“Our philosophy is to restore the site by doing as much as is necessary but changing as little as possible. We want to keep the unique 'feel' of the place – the sights, sounds and smells of a small working woollen mill. We want to share the thrill of seeing cloth grow as it is being made in the loom and know that a piece of history has been produced.”


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