DEFIANT heritage bosses have pledged to keep up their fight to get an iconic windmill turning again after being knocked back for funding.
The project to turn Lytham Windmill and the neighbouring boathouse into an interactive museum was today denied almost £1m Heritage Lottery funding – but those behind the bid are determined to find another way to bring the windmill back to life.
Lytham Heritage Group runs the Fylde Council-owned landmark, and group spokesman John Hayfield said: “We’ve spent 12 months working hard on the bid and I’m sure my colleagues are very disappointed.
“We have to decide what is now the best way forward, but I’m sure it’s not the end of it.
“My colleagues are very keen to upgrade the windmill and attract visitors and then send them off on a heritage trail to Lytham Hall. As a minimum we would like to get the windmill sails turning – that in itself would attract a lot of people to Lytham.”
The full £1.5m scheme would have needed the lottery grant, as well as £426,000 brought in by fundraising to create a new museum which would attract around 60,000 visitors a year.
Sara Hilton, head of the Heritage Lottery Fund North West, said the lottery recognised the project’s importance, but there were concerns about its timing.
She said a meeting would take place to discuss how the project could move forward, and added: “This was a highly-competitive round of decision-making and unfortunately we just didn’t have enough money to support all the projects we looked at on the day.”