Sunderland Mayor grilled over future of Fulwell Mill by pupils

The Mayor of Sunderland Coun. Stuart Porthouse, with pupils of Fulwell Infants School, in the Council Chambers, during their visit to the Civic Center on Thursday
The Mayor of Sunderland Coun. Stuart Porthouse, with pupils of Fulwell Infants School, in the Council Chambers, during their visit to the Civic Center on Thursday
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A CLASS took a council chief to task as they voiced concern over the future of a city landmark.

Five and six-year-olds from Fulwell Infants School poured their feelings about Fulwell Mill into letters and posters, which they then sent to Sunderland’s Mayor Stuart Porthouse.

The councillor then invited Class Six to the Mayor’s Parlour at the civic centre to talk about the points they had made, and about his role during his year in office.

There is also a petition calling for action.

The building has been at the heart of a topic of study for the children, with it tied in to the story Little Red Hen, which features a mill.

Sheila Watson, the group’s teacher, said: “They are very upset about the state of the mill when they have walked past it.

“They were very articulate and two little boys who had written their own letter, read it to the mayor and it’s genuinely something they are concerned about.

“The mayor said he would get in touch with the Southwick ward councillor to pass on what the children said, and get back to them and visit the school.”

The windmill, on Newcastle Road, has recently been added to English Heritage’s at-risk register, which covers Grade I and Grade II-listed sites.

They make up five per cent of listed buildings and structures. The windmill was built in 1821 and was a popular attraction until it was closed to visitors in 2011, after being damaged in a storm.

Sunderland City Council has set aside funds to make it watertight and it is searching for someone to take on the building and bring it back into use.

Suggested uses for the building have included a museum and visitor centre, café or tearoom, wholefoods and gift shop or art workshops.

Commercial uses are permitted as long as public access is maintained.