George Freeman MP congratulates Dereham Windmill on receiving a £50,000 BIFFA Award
21st September 2012
In the words of Brian web, the chairman of board of trustees, Dereham Windmill is looking a bit sorry for itself at the moment. The grade II listed, 42-foot high, five-storey red brick windmill was built in the 1830s, but now it its floor, windows and doors desperately need renovating to make it weatherproof. This first stage of restoration now appears to be at hand thanks to the tireless work of the Friends of Dereham Windmill, who have managed to secure a grant of nearly £50,000 from the BIFFA Award scheme. I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the celebration of this award in the grounds on the windmill on Friday last week and show my support.
What I would like to see Dereham put on the map as a destination of choice for heritage tourism. The refurbished windmill would be a great attraction for visitors, bringing extra trade to the local town shops, as well as offering fantastic opportunities for the whole community. The Friends of Dereham Windmill are also hoping to be able to open their doors to local school children for art and photography exhibitions by next autumn, and I pledge my continued support to them in their campaigns for further funding for its complete restoration and the installation of a visitor’s coffee shop.
But if we want more visitors to heritage towns such as Dereham, we need also to improve our transport links and that means getting a better rail service through Norfolk. This is why I have been pressing for improvements right across the region's rail network and continue to stress in Parliament. the importance of improved rail infrastructure to growth of our region and the rural economy