Questions over future of Sunderland’s historic Fulwell Mill

Fulwell Mill

Fulwell Mill

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A SERIES of “options” are being considered over the future of Fulwell Mill.

As part of Sunderland City Council’s bid to plug a £37million funding gap, a full review is set to take place into operations at the historic building.

The mill has been shut since December 2011, after 70mph winds ripped through its sails and cap.

The council was left facing an estimated repair bill of £150,000 for the Grade II-listed building, but with multimillion-pound savings to make, questions have been asked about long the mill will remain closed.

Councillor George Howe, from the Fulwell ward, has raised the issue with council leader Paul Watson. He said: “Concerns were expressed the mill has been closed for so long. We understand some of the money for repair work to the sails has been raised but not enough to cover the whole cost.”

Sunderland City Council today said it was committed to supporting the “future sustainability” of the site.

From the beginning of next month, a new Sunderland Museums and Heritage Service is set to be launched to oversee operations at the city’s attractions, including Fulwell Mill.

Councillor John Kelly, portfolio holder for public health, wellness and culture at Sunderland City Council, said: “The mill is an important part of Sunderland’s heritage, and the council is continuing to look at a number of options to support its future sustainability.”

Between April 2009 and April 2011, there were 11,376 visitors to the attraction.

Jennifer Wilson, 39, of Fulwell, said: “It looks a bit sad at the minute. We used to go and see Santa there at Christmas, and the kids miss that.”