Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Sunset Song Mearns mill community takeover plan at key stage

The old mill wheel at Benholm Mill.
The old mill wheel at Benholm Mill.

A community ownership plan to turn a historic Mearns mill into a visitor centre has won the backing of planners.

But concern has been raised over the prospect of having to get 100% of phase-one funding in place before the communuty asset transfer can be finalised.

The old mill wheel at Benholm Mill.

Benholm Mill, near Johnshaven, is an A-listed property which dates back to the 12th century and has doubled as a film set, including Long Rob’s mill in Lewis Grassic Gibbon’s Sunset Song.

The building shut down commercially in 1982, and was reopened as a heritage attraction in 1995 and operated by a trust alongside Aberdeenshire Council – but closed in 2014.

Earlier this year, the Mill of Benholm Enterprise group (Mobe) applied for a community asset transfer to take it over.

However, council officers were concerned about the feasibility of the group’s business plan, prompting members of the Kincardine and Mearns area committee to ask them to take another look.

Now the committee will consider the proposal on Tuesday, and council officers have this time agreed that “enough information has been received to allow a positive recommendation”.

Mairie Eddie, chairwoman of the Mobe, said she was “delighted” by the recommendation but said the group was worried about the requirement for funding to be secured prior to asset transfer.

She said: “We’re very happy it’s now a positive recommendation, as we believe community ownership is the best way forward for the mill’s future.

“We are concerned about the prospect of having to get 100% of phase-one funding in place prior to an asset transfer being finalised, because that will be very difficult to achieve just because of the way funding works.”

Stephen Archer, infrastructure services director, said officers still wanted assurances that grant funding for the project can be secured before the asset transfer goes through.

Mr Lindsay Watson took over the lease of Benholm Mill in 1929 and worked there until his death in 1951.

At that time his son Mr Lindsay C Watson purchased the mill and worked it commercially until 1982.

Combine harvesting had led to the kiln being in high demand for drying barley, and with the market for oatmeal declining, Mr Watson continued by producing animal feeds.

Mr Watson died in 1983 and the mill was purchased by Kincardine and Deeside District Council in 1986.

After complete restoration, it was opened as a visitor centre in 1995 before being shut down as a tourist destination in 2014, with ownership reverting to the local authority.

Mobe is seeking to bring the mill back into full working order, with cafe facilities, events, walks and tours.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]