A historic and once-popular Mansfield town centre venue that has stood empty for a number of years could soon be set to reopen its doors – as a pub food training academy.
The Old Town Mill, in Bridge Street, was known for miles around as a live venue.
Now, following consultations in 2016, a Pub Food training academy will be developed, which will provide freshly-cooked meals for a public restaurant at a reasonable price.
The £1.7m project will see the upper floors to be opened as a 16-room bed and breakfast facility, run by the students, enabling visitors to stay in an historic environment close to the town centre.
It is hoped that the facility will employ 20 staff and train 50 students each year, adding to the local economy and offering further educational opportunities for younger people.
The whole business will be run by a not-for-profit company, to be called Pub School Inns CIC.
Mansfield Business Improvement District (BID) obtained a Heritage Lottery Fund grant to employ the services of professionals to determine what restoration work was needed to be carried out and the cost of such work, along with the costs of making the building viable for a new business.
As a result of this initial work, the Heritage Lottery Fund has now invited the owners to apply for a grant to help achieve their aims. The grant application is due to be submitted in February, with the results to be announced in June.
Heritage consultant Denis Hill, working with the BID, said: “The Old Town Mill could be a viable asset to the town and help boost the economy of the area.
“The food and drink industry is one that is constantly expanding and their qualification will enable students to continue on to further educational courses or seek employment.”
Part of the process of establishing the business will include engaging schools and members of the public to research the history of both this mill and all the other watermills across Mansfield.
As a result a “Mill” heritage trail will be created and literature published. Memories and images of times gone by, at the mill, will be displayed around the Restaurant to help remind people of its history.
Source: The Business Desk