BRICK Award for fundraising

Leigh Spinners Mill has received a BRICK award for the fundraising category.




The Leigh Spinners Mill is recognised as one of the finest mill buildings in the country and is Listed Grade II*. It remains in the ownership of the company that built it and is still used for textiles manufacture albeit now carpets and artificial turf. A major reason the mill is Grade II* Listed is that one steam engine – the last in situ steam engine installed and third largest in a mill remains intact.

The current activities in the mill only utilise a quarter of the available space and the burdens of maintaining the building are beyond the resources of the current owners. This has left the building in a deteriorating condition and it is on the English Heritage Buildings at Risk Register.

A scheme has been developed which would see its acquisition and restoration by the Leigh Building Preservation Trust. This would retain the existing company, Leigh Spinners Ltd, in its current location on the bulk of the ground floor. This will preserve 51 jobs but also open up 38,000 square meters of floor space on the upper floors for a variety of new uses.

Our business plan envisages that vacant space would be made available for commercial activities, sports and leisure and also community enterprises. We have already provided a major heritage facility based upon the existing steam engine, the Trust’s collection of textile machinery, social history and industrial artefacts donated by local people. The engine had not run since 1974 until December last year when our volunteer team turned it for the first time in over 40 years.

To achieve this, we have been active in securing funding from a wide range of sources. A BRICK workshop led us to the conclusion that we should not concentrate on a limited number of major funding sources but to develop the mill incrementally, which would enable us to develop a track record of implementation whilst meeting community aspirations as early as possible before submitting major bids.

We have secured some £940,000 in the past three years from 15 separate sources, passing audits and meeting all funders’ requirements. This has enabled us to deliver three phases of restoration to the position where we have now signed a lease on a mill of 18,000 square meters which will be repaired in a £400,000 contract which is currently out to tender. This will provide four floors of accommodation two of which have agreed users with further interest in most of the remaining space.

Funding secured since 2015

HLF – 2 grants totalling £19,800

Historic England – 3 grants totalling £394,000

Wigan Council – 3 grants totalling £19,000

1 grant pending of £62,000

S106 contribution £31,000

Trusthouse – £28,000

Pilgrim Trust  – £20,000

Viridor – 2 grants totalling £70,000

BIFFAward – £75,000

WREN – £45,000

Social Investment Business – 2 grants totalling £67,000

Association of Industrial Archaeology  £14,900

Princes Trust – £2,000

Awards for All – £10,000

Architectural Heritage Fund – 2 grants £7,800

Sport England – £75,000