East Riding of Yorkshire Council has received a confirmed National Lottery grant of £724,000 towards a £968,869 scheme to deliver The Humber Bridge Country Park Experience it was announced today.
Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, the project aims to restore Hessle Whiting Mill - adding an additional floor and interpretation - deliver a full activity programme, employ a heritage education officer, improve the existing stepped access and undertake improvement works to underpasses and pathways. Capital works are programmed to start in early 2019 with a view to completion in autumn the same year.
Supported through the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), the project aims to conserve and share the important heritage of the Whiting Mill, (listed grade II and scheduled as an ancient monument), providing access to the public on publicised open days each year. It will also reunite the mill with the Country Park by forming a fully interpreted walk (‘The Chalk Walk’) identifying the park’s historic use as a chalk quarry and will enable community engagement and learning programmes together with outreach sessions and educational visits lead by the heritage officer and volunteer network also created as part of the project.
The mill was built in 1806 for the production of whiting, using the natural chalk outcrops that existed nearby (now the Country Park) which have been exploited since the medieval period. Through the 19th Century, chalk was being crushed to form whiting which was used primarily for filler in putty and later for use in the rubber, paint and plastics industries.
Chalk extraction stopped in the 1950s and the quarry was left to go back to nature until the 1970s when it became part of the land acquired to build the Humber Bridge, at one time the longest single span suspension bridge in the world. The Humber Bridge Country Park was created by the local council following completion of the bridge in 1986 as an attraction for the thousands of visitors who visit the area. The mill was listed in 1982 and later confirmed as a scheduled ancient monument in 2003.
Commenting on the importance of this award Councillor Stephen Parnaby OBE, leader of East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: “We’re delighted that we’ve received this support thanks to National Lottery players. The project will unlock the tourism potential of this beautiful nature reserve, which is already popular with local people, by investing in the country park’s heritage assets. These exciting plans will help showcase the area in a visual way and allow people to explore the park’s history.”
David Renwick, Head of HLF Yorkshire and the Humber, said: “The combination of rare natural, and industrial heritage is an important part of the Humber Estuary. We are delighted that National Lottery players can support the preservation of Whiting Mill, improve access to the site, and enable a programme of activities to help uncover the geological, natural, and industrial heritage of the area, providing greater accessibility and understanding for the community, volunteers and visitors.”