Proud day looms for Knockando Woolmill community project

Knockando Woolmill - European Commission award ceremony.
Knockando Woolmill – European Commission award ceremony.

THE GROWING REPUTATION of the Knockando Woolmill will be underlined next week when the Moray attraction is presented with a major EU prize.

Earlier this year the Woolmill was named as a winner of the Cultural Heritage/Europa Nostra award, which is considered to be the highest honour available for sites of cultural or heritage importance in Europe.

Knockando will be presented with their award at a special ceremony on Monday when Dr Peter Collins, chairman of Europa Nostra UK, will be in attendance alongside Dr Jana Hutt, the project director, and Tom Duff, a partner at LDN Architects.

Emma Nicolson, the Marketing and Merchandise Manager for the site, said: “Knockando Woolmill is the result of the entire local community coming together and securing a future for what is regarded as a very special place.

“The restoration has now been recognised as an exemplar project by the European Commission and Europa Nostra, who are the leading heritage organisation in Europe.”

The restoration project is notable not only for its high quality and attention to detail but also for its success in promoting rural revival in this distinctive region.

In their award citation, the Awards Jury said: “The Knockando Woolmill is special due to its continuous, unbroken production of textiles over the last 200 years.

“This is exceptional in Europe and the survival of this type of local production is rare. Though it is a decidedly local endeavour and is linked very much to its regional identity, the Woolmill’s production of high-quality textiles to a growing global market makes it an internationally significant endeavour.

“Its very survival in today’s globalised world is deserving of European, if not international, recognition.

“The community involvement, the generation of new employment opportunities and the attraction of visitors to this relatively remote region is a wonderful example of rural revitalisation and of what can be done in comparable locations throughout Europe.”

Monday’s ceremony will include the unveiling of a commemorative plaque by the Rt Hon the Lord Cameron of Lochbroom QC.