Mill of Benholm asset transfer deferred

Mill of Benholm Enterprise has plans to rejuvenate the mill complex
Mill of Benholm Enterprise has plans to rejuvenate the mill complex

A community group will have to wait a bit longer to find out if its bid for an asset transfer of an historic Mearns mill has been successful.

The Mill of Benholm Enterprise (MoB) had applied to take over the running of the mill, near Johnshaven, but a decision has been deferred by Aberdeenshire Council’s Business Services Committee.

The group intends to bring the mill back to life as a vibrant community hub and heritage attraction. It closed in April, 2014, and ownership was transferred to Aberdeenshire Council.

Council officers previously raised concerns regarding the group’s business plan and planned to reject the proposal earlier this year.

However, Kincardine and Mearns Area Committee agreed to recommend the asset transfer request, with the removal of a condition which stated MoB must have 100%of its grant funding for Phase 1 of its business plan in place first.

As this decision was not in accordance with the recommendation of council officers, the application was referred to the Business Services Committee.

In a report to the Kincardine and Mearns Area Committee in September, officers recommended the group get nine months to obtain their funding. However after the MoB said that would not be enough time the acting area manager suggested the time period be extended to December 31, 2020.

The application will be discussed again on January 9.