Heritage grant 2/3
Leigh Building Preservation Trust

Leigh Building Preservation Trust

Leigh Spinners Mill in Greater Manchester is an extraordinary structure, built over a century ago as a  steam-powered cotton spinning mill. At its peak, it employed nearly 800 people across two mills, and it remains one of the most important mill complexes in the UK, a monument to our industrial history. It still contains an original steam engine used to power the mill. Although the mills are Grade II* listed, they are on the Historic England Buildings At Risk register and much of the vast space has fallen into disrepair. The building stands in a traditional industrial area now suffering from economic decline.

Alarmed by the building’s decay, members of the local community formed the Leigh Building Preservation Trust to protect and restore the mill. Their first act was to restore the original steam engine and engine house, and they have now completed repair work on the roof to stop further damage to the building. While the original Leigh Spinners Ltd company makes astroturf in parts of the mill, one floor of the second mill has been converted to house a series of community sports clubs and facilities and a second one for enterprise units. The Trust is now working to convert another floor into studio space, galleries and a project space for artists and local arts organisations. Their work not only preserves an important part of the community’s past, but also creates employment, sports and cultural opportunities that will protect its future.

In October 2020, the Swire Charitable Trust awarded the Leigh Building Preservation Trust a grant of £18,000 towards their work to restore and bring new life to this magnificent industrial building.

Amount awarded:£18,000
Date awarded:October 2020
Region:North West England
Length of Award:12 Months