The Mill of Benholm Enterprise has successfully applied for the Community Asset Transfer of the Mill of Benholm from Aberdeenshire Council to the Mill of Benholm Enterprise. This process has been concluded and on the 30th of April 2024 the Mill of Benholm Enterprise became the owner of the Mill. Our plans are as follows.

  • Restore the Mill to working order
  • Repair the footpaths
  • Improve the biodiversity of the site
  • Create a safe and welcoming place for people and wildlife
  • Open a cafe
  • Develop learning facilities: workshops and rural skills training, growing and processing of    food, forest school
  • Work with the community and local groups to tackle social isolation and encourage a sense of belonging and place,
  • Hold events throughout the year to encourage engagement and raise funds.

MoBE’s plan is to open up the Mill of Benholm to the public, halt any further deterioration of the site and conserve and restore the historical features found there. Together with our volunteers and supporters the process of taking the Mill of Benholm out of its decade long hibernation has now started.

Initially, this will involve upgrading the roads and paths to make the site safe and accessible. This will require cutting back a lot of vegetation, removing fallen timber, recreating paths and updating the interpretive boards. The bridges and boardwalks will be assessed and repaired where necessary. Opening up the site and improving access will provide the community with a unique environment which can aid wellbeing and provide opportunities for volunteering and learning rural skills.

The utilities will be improved and renewable energy solutions will be investigated. There may be scope for hydro and solar power production on site which can also be used as an education tool highlighting the current industrial nature of the site as well as the historical.

Work will need to be done to restore the mill lade and the mill pond which will be cleared of reeds and silt.

A temporary café will be positioned next to the Grain Store while it is being renovated. The restored Grain Store will then be used as a pop-up café, office, classroom and utility space.  

The community garden will be relocated to free up space for potential new disabled access and parking. The garden can be redesigned to include better composting areas and rainwater harvesting features. Raised beds of different heights can be incorporated to allow for easier use and paths will be suitable for wheelchair access.

The Mill building will be restored and maintained and the workings of the water wheel and milling mechanisms inside will be assessed and then restored, ideally to full working order. Initially, this will be to operate for demonstrations but then, it is hoped, for flour production in the future.

The car park will be expanded to provide parking for campers and charging points installed.

Across the Benholm Burn is Mill Brae Wood which we hope to lease from Brotherton Estate meaning the two areas can be linked and managed together. This will offer up more opportunities for walking, outdoor learning and skills workshops.

We are also working in Partnership with Historic Churches Scotland who own Benholm Church, another A listed building in the Benholm Conservation Area. Joint events are being looked into and an old connecting path between the Mill and the Church is being investigated.

We have lots of ideas for the Mill of Benholm but are keen to hear more! So, please join the conversation as we look to start planning the way forward.’