Gayle Mill set to reopen to visitors in 2021 after funding boost

Hawes Parish Council chair Jill McMullon and Stuart Parsons at Gayle Mill.

A funding boost will help Gayle Mill reopen to visitors in 2021.

Cultura Trust has received £159,000 to support its sites and collections, including the mill in Gayle, near Hawes.

The funding will enable work for future public access and for new digital resources for online learning.

It has also allowed the trust to appoint Richmondshire county councillor Stuart Parsons to prepare the mill for reopening.

Graham Bell, director of Cultura Trust, said: “We are very pleased to have been selected to receive this valuable support and, as part of our commitment to Gayle Mill, to be able to announce that the funding has enabled us to appoint Stuart Parsons to help us prepare the mill for Covid-safe reopening in 2021.

“Stuart is well known in the Dales as a former mayor of Richmondshire District Council and for his many personal community responsibilities.”

Stuart said: “The mill represents over 200 years of British industrial innovation. I’m thrilled to become part of its story, especially during these difficult times.

“For me, it is the people in the story which brings it to life.”

Jill McMullon, chair of Hawes and High Abbotside Parish Council, said: “Gayle Mill is very much a part of our local history and it will be amazing to have it restored back to a working mill.

“In such difficult times it’s lovely to have such good news and we look forward to see its progress and eventual completion.”

In addition to employing Stuart Parsons, the package of funding for Cultura will help Gayle Mill with setting up a photogrammetry community project to produce a digital model of the mill and digitise some of the collection.

Cultura Trust is one of 445 organisations sharing £103 million to help them through the coronavirus pandemic, to help restart vital reconstruction work and maintenance on cherished heritage sites, keeping venues open and supporting those working in the sector.

This funding is from the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage and the Heritage Stimulus Fund – funded by Government and administered at arm’s length by Historic England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Both funds are part of the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund which is designed to secure the future of Britain’s museums, galleries, theatres, independent cinemas, heritage sites and music venues with emergency grants and loans.