The future of one of Wearside’s most famous buildings is set to be preserved for decades to come.
Fulwell Windmill is hailed as a nationally important example of such a building, with the team tasked with coming up with new designs for improvements calling it a “cherished community asset and iconic landmark”.
The six-storey structure, built in 1806, has fallen into disrepair and had to be closed to the public in 2012 on health and safety grounds, when bad weather conditions caused significant damage.
Since then, the cap and sails have been removed – but could make a return under new proposals.
They are part of a £150,000 scheme, which was launched to preserve the building.
Sunderland City Council has applied to its planning department to install a new cap, sails, fantail and petticoat to the mill.
These next steps include issuing the tender for the specialised and bespoke works that are needed for this important and much-loved landmark.Councillor John Kelly
It also wants to carry out repairs to its windshaft, sail cross, brake wheel and its winding gear, with new windows and a lick of paint also set out in the proposals.
Beaumont Brown Architects, which was commissioned by the council to draw up plans as part of a listed building consent and planning permission consent, states: “As the most mechanically and structurally complete windmill in the North East, Fulwell Windmill is a regionally and nationally significant example as well as an important community asset and a much-loved local landmark.
“It has the potential to become a fantastic, authentic working windmill, standing on a well-winded and visually prominent site by a main road.”
Sunderland North Community Business Centre (SNCBC) was invited to operate the venue as part of a heritage and visitor centre last year after a number of expressions of interest were submitted to the council.
Work is under way to find funding to return the mill to its former glory.
Councillor John Kelly, the council’s portfolio holder for public health, wellness and culture, said: “The city council continues to work closely with a number of partners, including Sunderland North Community Business Centre, to support works at Fulwell Mill.
“These next steps include issuing the tender for the specialised and bespoke works that are needed for this important and much-loved landmark.”