Windy Miller wanted to bring Sunderland’s Fulwell Mill back into use

Looking for more than just a friend... Arthur Wilson and Elsie Ronald, chairman and secretary of the Friends of Fulwell Mill, with Janet Robinson, Cultural Heritage Development Officer and Coun John Kelly. It is hoped that someone can be found to both repair and maintain Fulwell's distinctive landmark.

Looking for more than just a friend... Arthur Wilson and Elsie Ronald, chairman and secretary of the Friends of Fulwell Mill, with Janet Robinson, Cultural Heritage Development Officer and Coun John Kelly. It is hoped that someone can be found to both repair and maintain Fulwell's distinctive landmark.

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FANCY giving this restoration project a spin?

A search has been launched to find a tenant to take on Fulwell Windmill as part of plans to return the historic landmark to its former glory.

It has towered over the Wearside skyline since 1808, and it is hoped there is someone out there who can now bring it back into use.

The Grade II-listed building was restored in 2001 but is now, along with its visitor centre, standing empty after it was damaged by strong winds in 2011.

Sunderland City Council has now launched a search for someone to take on the task of restoring, operating and managing the site.

Councillor John Kelly, the council’s heritage champion, said the long-term lease would be a way for the authority to work with a tenant who would fund the restoration at a time when it has to be careful with money.

He said: “We are looking to bring a partner on board to work with us to bring back into use and ensure the future of Fulwell windmill, and who will work with the community and other partners to deliver a heritage project.”

Suggested uses include 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.

Arthur Wilson, chairman of the Friends of Fulwell Windmill, said: “Obviously we want to have the windmill restored.

“It’s been closed now for 18 months, so anything that gets the windmill back to working order so that we can show it off again is good.”

The site includes a two-bedroom apartment and a car park.

The two options for restoration are full or visual only, and last year, the costs were estimated to be £245,295 and £190,232.

The council may be able to match-fund some of work up to a maximum of £100,000 and the deadline for submissions is November 1. To arrange a viewing, call Janet Robinson on 561 8413.