26 Apr 2022

Greater Manchester

Electricity North West partners with trust to restore iconic mill

Leigh Spinners Mill is set to go green thanks to funding from Electricity North West.  

The network operator has awarded £8,500 to Leigh Building Preservation Trust to research the renewable and conservation energy options for the historic mill as part of ongoing restoration plans.

The Greening our Mill project will consider a range of options to maximise energy conservation, from insulation to battery storage, solar and recycling.

The project aims to demonstrate how energy conservation measures can be adopted by community groups and for older industrial buildings.

Leigh Building Preservation Trust was formed by members of the local community to transform derelict buildings into thriving community hubs.

Following an initial phase of restoration to the Grade II* listed mill, the building now houses a range of community groups and small business units, with more tenants on the waiting list.

Peter Rowlinson, Leigh Building Preservation Trust Director, said: “Maintaining historic buildings often means bringing them back to life in new and inspiring ways.

“We’re grateful that this funding from Electricity North West not only allows us to bring the landmark mill into the 21st century, but to pave the way for the future.

“There are more than 1,200 mills remaining throughout the North West, so this is an opportunity for us to inspire others by demonstrating how an old industrial building can address climate change, reduce operating costs and create new opportunities for modern uses.”

Helen Seagrave, community energy manager at Electricity North West, added: “The North West has some of the most ambitious net zero targets in the UK, and achieving them will require us all to play a part in using less power or generating greener, cleaner energy in future.

“We’ve been really inspired by the work that Leigh Building Preservation Trust does in the community and how it’s tackling this challenge head-on.”

Electricity North West has awarded the money as part of its annual Powering our Communities scheme, which supports the development of community and local energy initiatives in the region from solar projects to on-farm renewable schemes.

This year, the company has awarded a total of more than £78,000 in grants to six projects across the North West.