This month, work will begin on fixing the leaking roof of Springhead’s mill building, thanks to all those who have supported us through donations and grants. Having secured the majority of the restoration costs we will be able to re-tile the roof, and carry out urgent repairs to chimneys, gutters and other features, but additional funding is still sought.
The mill building is the hub of all the Trust’s activities, and the restoration work will enable us to continue giving people of all ages and backgrounds the chance to enjoy and learn from the rural environment at Springhead. The building is where school groups go for activities on a wet day, where community and family groups meet, and where indoor concerts, talks and exhibitions are held. Food for visitors is produced in the catering-sized kitchen and served in the dining room on the ground floor. The building also houses the toilets, and a disabled access bedroom with en suite facilities. The upstairs function rooms are regularly hired for weddings which help bring in funding to support our charity.
All these activities have been at risk due to the badly damaged tiled roof which has been letting water into the building, damaging battens and historic timbers. With funding from the Historic Houses Foundation and from Dorset Council’s Capital Leverage Fund we had asbestos deposits removed from the roof spaces so we can now safely go ahead with the necessary roof works and use the loft rooms once again. This next stage is to replace the tiles and carry out other roof-related works including re-pointing the brick chimney stacks, repairing the gutters and downpipes, replacing the roof lights, installing additional insulation and fitting out the loft spaces, providing much-need accommodation for staff, visitors and partner organisations.
‘We are extremely appreciative of all the support we have had so far and would particularly like to extend a very big thank you to the local people who have responded to our campaign by making generous donations’ says Nikolaus Boulting, Chair of the Springhead Trust. ‘With income from school visits and weddings being reduced this year, your help makes a big difference.’ We have also been awarded grants from Historic England’s Covid-19 Emergency Heritage at Risk Response Fund, the Valentine Charitable Trust, the Worshipful Company of Tylers and Bricklayers and the Sylvia Waddilove Foundation UK, helping us reach over £55,000 towards the total restoration cost of around £77,000. ‘We hope to be awarded further grant funding, but the shortfall will need to be met by using Springhead’s reserves, so we would be very grateful for any further donations, however small.’