The Architectural Heritage Fund (AHF) is pleased to share that the Thrive Together Fund has awarded Leigh Building Preservation Trust £150,000 to help grow activity at the Leigh Spinners Mill.
The £6m Thrive Together Fund, which launched in July 2023, is managed by Social Investment Business and delivered in partnership with Co-operative and Community Finance, Fredericks Foundation, Groundwork, Homeless Link and the AHF. It combines grant funding with repayable finance, providing a funding package of loan (75%) and grant (25%) to eligible small and medium-sized charities and social enterprises that are improving people’s lives, or the environment in which they live, in England only.
Leigh Spinners Mill in Leigh, Greater Manchester, is an iconic Grade II*-listed cotton mill complex residing within a large eight acre site, which was founded in 1913 by John Horrocks and Edward Crowther. To this day, part of the complex is still in operation as a mill.
Leigh Building Preservation Trust was formed with the aim of saving Leigh Spinners Mill and transforming the derelict mill buildings into thriving community hubs. The Trust has already restored and converted one of the two main mill buildings into a flexible and affordable space for enterprise and community benefit. It is subdivided into a mixture of for-hire event spaces and units, which are occupied by charities, community interest companies and for-private-profit businesses. With over 60 tenants, the building is home to a wide range of services, including a dance studio, independent cinema, sporting facilities, and a craft workshop. There is also a community garden and a ‘men’s shed’ within the grounds.
The AHF has supported Leigh Building Preservation Trust with multiple grants since 2013, enabling the Trust to investigate the viability of the Leigh Spinners Mill project and to develop plans for the restoration work.
This new investment, provided through the Thrive Together Fund, will support essential infrastructure works needed to bring floor five of the mill building back into use, enabling the Trust to scale up its existing activity within the building. Specifically, it will fund health and safety and accessibility improvements to an existing historic lift, as well as the installation of a water tank.
For further details about the Thrive Together Fund, including full eligibility criteria and how to apply, please visit: Thrive Together Fund | Funding | Social Investment Business (sibgroup.org.uk