Wellington’s heritage buildings – including Tonedale Mill and Cornhill – will have a massively better chance of regeneration with the appointment in the next few months of a specialist “Wellington at Risk” manager.
Funding from Historic England will meet most of the salary costs of an expert, on a three-year contract – with the balance met by Taunton Deane council, to focus on how the town’s rich industrial and commercial heritage can be saved for future generations.
“Wellington has some in some of the most important buildings in the South West in terms of industrial heritage and we must find a way to save and regenerate them,” said John Ette, principal advisor to HE in this area.
The project manager’s initial work will be targeted at the crumbling former mill buildings – Tonedale and Toneworks – as well as Cornhill in the centre of town – plus Wellington Monument.
Leader of Taunton Deane Borough Council, Cllr John Williams, said: “Wellington’s heritage is extremely important both locally and nationally. I am delighted that Historic England has agreed to help fund an expert who will be able to focus on conservation and in particular this very significant historic Fox’s mill complex besides the all -important Cornhill.
“A great deal of hard work has been done to reach this point – it’s really good news for Wellington. We are proud of our local history and hope real progress can be made in preserving this all important industrial heritage.”
Cllr Bob Bowrah, who chairs TDBC planning committee and is a Wellington ward member, said: “This news is very welcome for our town. We have an outstanding industrial heritage and I hope this marks the first step in preserving what we can for future generations.”