New Mills Town Council were offered six months free rent for heritage centre

New Mills Town Council were offered six months free rent to keep the heritage centre in the centre of town but ignored the offer, the landlord of the building said.

Tuesday, 31st May 2022, 8:26 am

Brian and Gilly Stanway own the Rock Mill Lane building that housed the centre, having bought the property a couple of years ago.

After hearing the town council wanted to relocate, the couple said they tried to work with them to offer them free rent and a discounted rate.

“The heritage centre was in the most perfect location, right by the train station and the bus stop in the centre of town and right by the Torrs,” Brian said.

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Gilly and Brian Stanway, owners of the former New Mills Heritage Centre

“Being from New Mills we know how much of an asset the centre is to the community and we didn’t want to the council to move out.”

Brian says he wrote to New Mills Town Council offering a reduced rate for a long term lease but his letters were never answered.

He then took to social media and publicly offered the council six months rent free while new contracts were drawn up but says again he never received any response.

He said: “I know the council have moved out of the heritage centre but I don’t want anyone thinking it is because we were trying to evict them when in fact it is the opposite and we were trying to keep them.”

New Mills Heritage and Information Centre.

Last month the heritage centre, which has been part of the town centre for more than 30 years, closed with the council relocating it to High Lea Hall.

The controversial move created anger among local residents and a petition with more than 500 signatures has been presented to the council calling on them to reconsider and consult residents about such a big move.

Brian said: “This move will cost them money. It’s not their own personal money they are spending but the tax payers and I don’t think they are being fair.”

When the Buxton Advertiser asked New Mills Town Council about the offer of free and reduced rent, we received this response: “The centre is now in the process of being relocated to High Lea Hall, which will be opening its doors to the public, towards the beginning of summer 2022.

“Please check into the town council’s website for regular updates.

“New Mills Town Council is very proud of the Heritage and Information Centre which has been run by the town council, staff and volunteers, for the last 33 years at the Union Road building.

“With the relocation to High Lea Hall, it is a new phase in the further development of the Heritage and Information Centre.

“There will be more room to display the artefacts, telling the New Mills story within the stunning Grade II listed building, with refreshment facilities available, surrounded by the sprawling park, which is a New Mills hot spot for local residents and visitors.

“Additional benefits including the community orchard, and the stunning views, makes it ideal for the thought provoking, imaginative stunning new home for the Heritage and Information Centre.”

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