A HEFTY repair bill has forced a historic Wearside tourist attraction to remain closed.
Fulwell Mill shut its doors to visitors after 70mph winds ripped through its sails and cap during storms last year.
Sunderland City Council, which owns the mill, was left counting the cost of the damage while visitors were left disappointed when the annual Santa’s grotto visit had to be scrapped.
Now, a repair bill to the Grade II-listed building is estimated to cost £150,000.
The council is now trying to find funding so the painstaking task can begin.
But officials have confirmed it will remain shut until the money is found, due to fears over health and safety.
Councillor John Kelly, portfolio holder for safer city and culture, said: “Fulwell Mill was closed in early December following high winds which caused significant damage to the sails and cap.
“The mill remains closed due to health and safety reasons as there is debris hanging from the sails caused by the winds.
“The windmill is listed as a Grade II building due to its special architecture and its historic importance to the region.
“Repair work is a complex job, including the removal of all the sails and the cap, and this is expected to cost approximately £150,000.
“The city council is actively seeking to secure the funding necessary to carry out the repairs and as a result the mill will remain closed until confirmation of the funding has been agreed.”
The restored building has stood on the site for more than 200 years, forming a well-known part of Sunderland’s skyline.