Heckington Windmill is the only surviving operational eight sailed windmill in the world and is one of the finest examples of 19th century windmill technology. The windmill is a landmark building within the local countryside and contributes to the character of the landscape surrounding Heckington.
In 2004, The Friends of Heckington Windmill embarked on an ambitious and long-term journey, to restore this beautiful building along with the surrounding outbuildings into good working use. This would be further enhanced through developing the site as a visitor attraction and educational offer with interpretation, a community education programme, significant volunteer opportunities and creation of a series of traditional skills course relating to baking and millwrighting.
Many years of discussion and planning followed, and, with the support of Heritage Lincolnshire, the group (managed by a voluntary group of Trustees) successfully applied for HLF Stage One development funding.
During the delivery of the Stage One project, Heritage Lincolnshire took responsibility for managing the work required to ensure all appropriate documentation was submitted on time for the HLF Stage Two application process. This included supporting the group in procuring some key contracts – including the essential architectural services. Work also included devising a detailed activity programme to compliment the capital works timetable and ensuring ongoing stakeholder communication and governance requirements were robust.
The group were successful with their Stage Two application and the 4-year work programme commenced in March 2014. Towards the end of the programme, Heritage Lincolnshire were asked to provide a brief to carry out the evaluation of the second stage of the project. The evaluation programme devised included developing a visitor analysis questionnaire (with results being collated digitally), dedicated workshops capturing feedback from the volunteers involved with the project and a detailed review of all the data collected by the Heckington Windmill Trust.
An extensive 60 page evaluation report was produced, with an accompanying 12 page ‘glossy’ brochure showcasing the success of the project, capturing some of the challenges overcome and looking forward to the future; this was distributed to key project stakeholders.