The Trustees of the only Silk Mill in England still weaving on Victorian looms are looking to appoint a Chairman of Trustees to lead them and the Mill into the future.

The current Chairman, Keith Watts, is to step aside from the role as part of a succession plan agreed in the autumn.

The Mill’s Trustees want a person who is committed to keeping alive this part of our industrial heritage, housed in a beautiful building in an idyllic setting, and ensuring that it goes from strength to strength. The person appointed will have experience of leading an organisation that is ambitious, wanting to grow, become more sustainable and wants to develop models of excellence.

Strong partnerships
Last July, all of the then Trustees of the Mill resigned, except Councillor Watts. By September a diverse group of volunteers with a range of talents came together as Boards of Trustees and Directors, since when they have built strong partnerships with local Councils and with the freeholders of Whitchurch Silk Mill, Hampshire Buildings Preservation Trust. In recognition of that, Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council and Hampshire County Council have decided to continue to pay substantial grants to the Trust.

A living weaving heritage site
The new Board has agreed a strategy for the Silk Mill as a living weaving heritage site and are developing a sound business plan to put that strategy resumed weaving on the historic looms under careful control and has opened to a wide range of events and new visitor attractions.

Cllr Watts was appointed as Chairman in September, but has always made it clear that he would step aside once the Mill was on a more secure footing. He says:

“I saw it as my job to lead a transition to a lively and optimistic voluntary body under professional leadership. I said at the time that I would step aside as soon as that job was done and leave the Chair for someone new who will lead the next stage of the resurgence of Whitchurch Silk Mill. We have achieved this vital first objective, and I can now look forward to giving more time to my wider responsibilities as a Councillor.”

Councillor Watts will continue to be the trustee who represents the Borough Council on the Trust.

Application packs
Potential candidates should contact the Company Secretary, Phillippa Caine, for an application pack through:
Whitchurch Silk Mill 28 Winchester Street, Whitchurch, Hampshire RG28 7AL
Telephone 01256 892065,
email: info@whitchurchsilkmill.org.uk
or visit www.whitchurchsilkmill.org.uk

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