We WILL NOT buy mill, says coun­cil

Macclesfield Express - - NOSTALGIA - KAREN BRITTON

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

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