Funding approved for restoration of Bicclescombe Mill

Posted on: 2 May 2017

There’s some “wheelie” good news for Ilfracombe’s award-winning park, as restoration of the historic mill is given the go-ahead.

North Devon Council’s Executive has today (Tuesday 2 May) approved the release of over £15,000 of funding for the restoration of the mill wheel at Bicclescombe Park. The project will be completed using £9,590 of Section 106 funding*, £5,710 from the council’s repairs budget and £1,500 raised by the Bicclescombe Park Improvement Group.

During the refurbishment, the wheel buckets and boards will be replaced, the mill wheel repainted, debris cleared from the waterwheel pit and the gable wall repainted. Inside the building, the timber beams and floor joists will be replaced and a new window fitted to the gable over the mill wheel. The restoration will bring the wheel back into full working order, adding to the attraction of the historic mill house and tea room in this multi-award winning park.

Mike Jones, Principal Parks Officer for North Devon Council, says: “It will be great to see the mill wheel returned to its former glory. Although we have carried out routine repair and maintenance of the mill, the years have taken their toll and the time has come to carry out more extensive work. The mill wheel house and wheel are important historic features, enjoyed by the many visitors and school groups using the park on a regular basis. Once the repairs are complete there will be scope to improve the interpretation of the fully working mill wheel with information board and improved lighting. We will also look to replace the fencing surrounding the mill wheel so it is more in keeping with the setting.”

Gary Tovey from Bicclescombe Park Improvement Group, says: “The water wheel, when in operation, has always been a fascination to park visitors and it will be great to see it fully operational again.”

The restoration work is due to start in August and should take four to six weeks to complete. Scaffolding will be in place around the wheel and the area fenced off for the duration of the work.

*Section 106 (S106) is money paid to the council by developers as part of the planning conditions of planning applications. The money can only be used for certain things, but is used primarily for public open space projects.

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Posted in: Leisure