We WILL NOT buy mill, says council
COUNCIL bosses WILL NOT push ahead with plans to buy out a mill which is home to some of Macclesfield’s heritage silk looms, the Express can reveal.
Former Cheshire East leader Michael Jones said he is ‘shocked and appalled’ that the council is not buying Paradise Mill, a museum on Park Lane.
It comes after Coun Jones, who remains a councillor for Bunbury, told the Express last June that the council was ‘in the final stages’ of purchasing the mill, saying the council wanted to make it more of a visitor attraction.
But enquiries by the Express have revealed the authority is now not planning on buying the mill, which is owned by private investors and run by Silk Heritage Trust.
A council spokesman confirmed there was no formal proposal to purchase the mill.
Coun Jones says terms were agreed on a deal with the current owners to swap Paradise Mill and an amount of cash for the Lyme Green site, the controversial site which the council tried to build a waste transfer station on without planning permission.
The plan was aimed at improving the mill as a visitor attraction.
He said: “All financial terms where agreed and it was a very amicable deal.
“I am shocked and appalled to hear that this vital heritage site has not been purchased.
“I don’t understand what has gone wrong as it was awaiting completion last time I was updated by the officers.”
Regular tours of the mill are currently held for visitors to see 26 working Jacquard looms, named after the way they weave the fabric, and learn about the town’s silk industry.
A council spokesman said: “While there may have been suggestion in public that the purchase of Paradise Mill was a potential way forward, no formal proposal ever came before the council and no resolution reached. Cheshire East Council continues to support the Silk Heritage Trust and its continued occupation of Paradise Mill. Although the council is not in a position to purchase Paradise Mill, it will work with the Silk Heritage Trust and owners to explore options for securing a sustainable future for this listed heritage asset as part of its wider vision for Macclesfield town centre.”
The mill was built around 1860 and formed a major part of Macclesfield’s silk industry.
It was operated for most of its life by Cartwright and Sheldon silk weavers until the 1980s.
No-one at the trust was available for comment as the Express went to press.
●» Paradise Mill is not being bought by Cheshire East Council