TOWN MILL COULD HELP TOTNES
The ancient Town Mill, on Coronation Road in Totnes, could soon be helping to fund much-needed improvements to heritage buildings and public open spaces in the town.
The Mill was bought in 1991, in a semi-derelict state, by Totnes and District Preservation Trust, which raised sufficient donations and grants to restore the landmark Listed building by 1997. The exterior of the corn mill and the water wheel were restored, and the interior (which had lost its machinery) was made fit for modern uses.
Over the years since then, accommodation has been offered to various public and charitable organisations on a not-for-profit basis. The building currently houses the Town Council’s Tourist Information Centre and the Totnes Image Bank.
The Preservation Trust and Totnes Development Trust merged recently to form the new Totnes Trust charity, which has the broad aim of working to conserve historic buildings and improve public space for community benefit.
Much thought has been given to the huge challenge of raising funds for a vigorous new programme of projects, and it soon became apparent that the Town Mill had the potential to provide an income which could be reinvested in Totnes.
At this point the Trust became aware that Totnes Town Council was considering various accommodation options, and that this might include a new location for the Tourist Information Centre, which could then vacate the Mill.
Chair of Totnes Trust, Ian Franklin, says: “This seems to be a real opportunity for everyone. We need more funds to help protect fragile heritage assets and to make the town’s environment even more attractive for residents, shoppers and tourists. If the Information Centre does move, and if a good new home can be found for the Image Bank, the Trust could raise new funding by selling or letting the Mill.
So the Trust now has a duty to anticipate finding income-generating uses for any floorspace which falls vacant. We can do that by submitting a Planning Application for potential ‘change of use’, which we will do in the near future. If the Application is successful, we will be ready to react positively as soon as the situation changes.
It is exciting to think that the Mill, which was once so productive, may soon have another important role in the economy of the town.”
For further information please contact Ian Franklin, Chair of Totnes Trust by email – firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 07712 678912
NOTE: Over the last year, Totnes Trust has completed the highly successful renovation of Shady Garden in the centre of town, and is currently involved with phase two of improvements to the Rotherfold on Cistern Street. In recent years Totnes Development Trust (now merged with Totnes Trust) was responsible for other major achievements, including the Leechwell Garden, Gardening for Health, and lighting to extend use of the Skate Park.
January 26th 2016
Press Release by the Totnes Trust, who own the Totnes Town Mill building.