New visitor centre will celebrate the history of Gloucestershire's wool industry
A VISITOR centre celebrating the history of Gloucestershire's woollen industry could be set up in an old mill in Nailsworth.
The Stroudwater Textile Trust has announced that it has been invited to set up a textile centre at Longfords Mill in the Avening Valley to bring to life the legacy that the woollen industry has given to the area.
There will be displays of historic textile machinery, woven fabric, photographs and documents as well as exhibitions, demonstrations, talks and interactive activities for visitors.
About 125 cloth mills operated in the Stroudwater area 200 years ago.
Anthony Burton, trust chairman, said: "We have long wanted to make the fascinating history of the local woollen industry better known and understood, particularly its links with the present day.
"We want the centre to provide a good day out for visitors and be a place to which they will return again and again."
Part of the site known as the Old Mill, which is Grade II listed, would be used as the new centre.
Its basement already contains a collection of steam, water and diesel power-generating machinery, which the trust is hoping to restore and demonstrate.
The trust has commissioned a feasibility study on how best to develop part of the site, which is expected later this year.
They will then start fundraising for the project and will seek necessary planning permission.
The STT is a group of local people who got together to promote awareness of the past importance of the woollen industry in the Stroud Valleys.
As part of the continuing development of the site, owners Builders Ede, selected the STT to look at creating the new textile centre.
Jonathan Ede, managing director of Builders Ede, said: "The Stroudwater Textile Trust was the obvious choice to join us in providing a lasting tribute to the rich heritage of the woollen industry in these parts.
"We feel that the centre can only enhance the Longfords Mill development."
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