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Historic England funding secures next phase of repairs at Tone Works

19 December 2022 : Planning and development, Council news, Community

Somerset West and Taunton Council has secured further grant funding for the next phase of repairs at Tone Works in Wellington.

The grant of £185,596 from Historic England will go towards Phase 3 of works at the nationally significant site which is home to a complex of Grade II* listed buildings and was purchased by the council in 2020.

The latest funding follows a £348,420 grant received in January 2021 from the first round of the Heritage Stimulus Fund, funding administered by Historic England as part of the government’s Culture Recovery Fund, which enabled the site to be fully decontaminated allowing for structural repairs to be carried out safely.

A second grant of £400,000 from the Heritage Stimulus Fund in October 2021 was used to employ specialist conservation contractors, engineers, ecologists and joiners to undertake structural repairs, including vital roof repairs and the stabilisation of the wall bounding the river.

The next phase of work will see one of the most complex and hazardous parts of the site made structurally stable opening up safe access routes to a number of different parts of the site.

Councillor Mike Rigby, Executive Member for Economic Development, Assets, Planning and Transportation, said: “We are really pleased with the latest grant offer from Historic England which will allow us to continue our work taking another major step towards the preservation of this historic site.

“I would like to thank all those working with us in securing this site of national interest into the future. I am truly impressed with the quality of craftsmanship carried out by some of the best heritage specialists and contractors working in the sector, along with engineers, ecologists and carpenters using local materials.

“With these continued works we aim to bring this important part of Somerset’s industrial heritage back to life with commercial, cultural and creative uses. We look forward to welcoming members of the community to the site once it is safely accessible.”

John Ette, Partnerships Team Leader at Historic England, said: “We’re delighted to offer further funding to help the council take another step towards securing a bright future for Tone Works.

“It’s a rare surviving example of a textile mill with all its working machinery, and important to the story of Wellington and its communities, past and present. We believe it has great potential for the future, too, and we’re proud to support this major regeneration project. It’s great that as part of this phase of works, craft apprenticeships are being supported too.”

The project is being supported by Rebecca Pow, MP for Taunton Deane, who said: “I am delighted that Historic England has provided further investment to enable the restoration of Tone Works to proceed to phase 3 following earlier investment which, with stakeholders, we have managed to secure.

“I will continue to support the council to secure more vital grant funding. I recently visited the site to view the work in progress and I was very impressed by the quality of craftmanship.

“This is a demanding but exciting project and will offer a range of opportunities for development, business and the community. The development will also link to the proposed Wellington rail station. I have championed this project and worked to attract significant funds from government to accelerate it through its business case stages. Lining up projects like this will all help bring economic prosperity to the town and as our MP I’m fully supporting them.”