Old Mill upgrade at Godmanchester is suspended through lack of materials

Godmanchester Sluice Gate project in May 2021.

Godmanchester Sluice Gate project. Before pics May 27 2021 Matthew Power Photography www.matthewpowerphotography.co.uk 07969 088655 matthew@matthewpowerphotography.co.uk @mpowerphoto - Credit: MATTHEW POWER PHOTOGRAPHY

Work on a £500,000 scheme to restore the historic Old Mill area at Godmanchester has been temporarily suspended through a shortage of materials caused by the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Reconstruction of the steps, including the installation of a fish and eel pass through one of the former mill sluices, was well under way when the project ground to a halt. It was scheduled to be finished this month. 

The contractor’s compound, in the adjacent car park, has now been shut down and the car park reopened to drivers.

The project, costing £470,000, was being led by Huntingdonshire District Council and delivered in collaboration with partners including the Environment Agency, Highways England A428/A14 Legacy Fund, Godmanchester Town Council and Godmanchester in Bloom.

A spokesman for the district council said: “Work was due to be completed in September. Unfortunately, the project has been affected by issues affecting much of the construction sector - supply chain issues and difficulties obtaining building materials.

“While we wait for the materials we need to complete this project, as of September 2021, Breheny’s compound has been closed down and the car park reopened.”

The spokesman added: “The delay to the completion of the project is disappointing for everyone, but rest assured that it is temporary. As soon as the delivery of the materials required is taken, we will be back to finish creating this beautiful green space for people to unwind and connect with nature.”

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Work on the scheme started in June and involved the creation of the fish pass, which will assist fish and eel migration along the Great Ouse, and improvements to the waterfront area where the concrete steps had become dilapidated.

A centuries-old mill stood on the site but was demolished in 1927 after it became derelict.
The district council put £200,000 from the Community Infrastructure Levy fund, which is paid by developers, into the project. The rest of the money came from the Environment Agency, Highways England A428/A14 Legacy Fund and Godmanchester Town Council.

The scheme is also designed to bring environmental, ecological and community benefits, as well as to enhance the waterfront and make it more attractive to visitors.