TWO of Sunderland’s historic landmarks have been added to a list of buildings with an uncertain future ahead of them.
Both Fulwell Windmill and The Church of Holy Trinity have been added to English Heritage’s at-risk register, which is published annually.
The register covers Grade I and Grade II-star listed sites, which make up the top five per cent of listed buildings and structures.
Fulwell Windmill, built in 1821, is the last of many which could be seen up and down the coast at its time. It had been a popular visitor attraction but forced to close to the public in 2011 after it was damaged in a storm.
Sunderland City Council has allocated funds to undertake repairs that will make the structure watertight, with the first phase of the work due to start in the summer.
Arthur Wilson, chairman of Friends of Fulwell Windmill, said: “The windmill has been closed for the last three years on safety grounds as there was damage caused to the sails by extreme weather. Various things need to be done to make it safe.
“We have been told that repairs are imminent and that’s good news from our point of view. We as a friends’ group don’t have any funds, we just like to show people around. The fact that it has been closed this long is very sad.
“Hopefully, with the new people coming in, it will come off the at-risk register in the not too distant future.”
The Holy Trinity Church, built 1718-19, is also set to undergo a transformation. A £3.4million bid was submitted to the Heritage Lottery Fund in August, to transform the East End landmark into a hub for community arts and culture.
Graham Saunders, English Heritage planning and conservation director for the North East said: “Successful partnerships and the support of volunteers and community groups are crucial in tackling heritage at risk – a fact demonstrated consistently in the North East.
“We will continue to work with others to improve the condition of our historic environment. In particular over the next year, we will be working to assess the condition of publicly and privately owned and managed parks, gardens and cemeteries.
“In addition, working with local authorities, we will assess the condition of Grade II buildings and look for ways of arresting their decay, made more difficult by the increasing demands on the resources owners need to repair and maintain them.”
Joining Fulwell Windmill and Holy Trinity on the register is Chester-le-Street conservation area. But it is not all doom and gloom as the Church of St Cuthbert in Durham City has come off list of sites at risk.