Work under way ahead of final stage of Fulwell Mill restoration

Preparations for the final stage of Fulwell Mill's refurbishment are under way
Preparations for the final stage of Fulwell Mill's refurbishment are under way
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Preparations for the final stage of restoration work at Fulwell Mill have started.

Scaffolding has been erected to protect the historic building while the temporary flat roof is removed for inspection, and to allow for the repair works to be carried out in the coming months.

Work has also been continuing off-site, with traditional craftsmen and millwrights from building conservation specialist contractors Owlsworth IJP, constructing the new cap, fantail and sails which will be transported to site and installed later this year.

While the scaffolding is in place on the exterior of the building, it will be business as usual for Sunderland North Community Business Centre, which now runs the visitor centre and newly-redeveloped Fulwell tearooms.

Sunderland City Council Portfolio for Public Health, Wellness and Culture, Coun John Kelly said: "It is great to see the next stage of work begin, and we hope everyone will bear with us and continue to visit the visitor centre while work continues.

"Returning Fulwell Windmill to the historic landmark it has been for generations is quite an achievement, skilled craftsmen are using centuries old techniques to re-instate the cap, fantail and sails.

"The progress being made is testament to the hard work and partnership of all those involved in this fantastic conservation project, and the end result will be another visible celebration of our shared cultural heritage for the city."

As the next stage of that process, Fulwell Windmill will be visited next month by the millwrights and architects involved in the restoration work, who will be joined by representatives from Historic England who are providing additional support and funding to the restoration project.

Kate Wilson, Historic England’s Principal Heritage At Risk Adviser for the North East said: "Fulwell Windmill has been a significant feature of the Wearside landscape since 1806 and is a much loved local landmark.

"Historic England is delighted to be working with Sunderland City Council to help preserve this remarkable structure and secure its future removal from the Heritage At Risk register."

​It is hoped that work to re-instate the sails, cap and fantail on the historic building will be completed by November, with an official re-opening ceremony in time for Christmas.