By far the oldest building in town and still situated at its core, in 1972 the mill was threatened with demolition. Purchased by its current owner to save it from this sad fate, this pioneering initiative became an exemplar and stimulus for more widespread conservation activity.
The long process of recovery began slowly. Unable to raise external finance, progress was dependent largely on 20 hour DIY week-ends! Gradually, area by area, the whole building has been brought back into use, to support a growing family of activities, including shops and a café/bar on the ground floor with a restaurant above and a variety of craft enterprises on the upper level.
The water wheel was restored as a project for the millennium and, plans were prepared for the total utilisation of water and solar power, rather than rely on the national grid. Two years were required to obtain the necessary planning consents. 2012 was spent fighting the floods and, at last, 2013 saw the construction of an Archimedes screw turbine in the river which, together with the water wheel generates electricity for the building. All lighting (320 bulbs) have been changed to LED’s to cut power usage and the final part of the strategy was the purchase of a small electric car, chargeable from the river turbine for fuel both free of cost and pollution
In the absence of any grant aid or external funding, your patronage over the years has helped us restore this ancient mill, now listed as a building of historic importance. From 2014, in time for our 700th birthday celebrations, you will know that it is not costing the earth to shop or eat and drink at Innovation, with our sustainable, carbon-free, eco-friendly energy supplies and goods.
A big thank you to all our customers for it is your patronage which continues to save this wonderful example of our local heritage for the enjoyment and appreciation of future generations.