July 14, 2022|2 Minutes

The Freight House and The Mill Arts & Events Centre to Reopen

Last night, Wednesday 13 July, the Executive of Rochford District Council agreed to reopen The Mill Arts & Events Centre (The Mill) in Rayleigh.

As part of its Asset Delivery Programme, the Council has been considering options for the redevelopment of this important community asset.

After extensive consultation with local residents and community groups the Council this week presented the Executive with three options: To continue to develop a business case to consider a new build facility or refurbishment; to keep The Mill mothballed and, finally, to reopen The Mill.

The Executive agreed to reopen The Mill in September 2022.

Cllr Simon Wootton, Leader, Rochford District Council, said: “I am delighted that my Executive colleagues agree with me that reopening The Mill is the best way forward for us to achieve our shared ambition of a facility that serves the diverse needs of our local communities, that enhances the public realm in Rayleigh and gives our residents a real voice in an asset that is at the heart of our local life.”

The Council will work in partnership with its leisure partner Fusion Lifestyle to maintain, staff and operate the building in the immediate short-term.

The Council will also launch a community engagement programme to seek Expressions of Interest from community groups to operate the building in the medium and longer term.

It was also resolved at the meeting for The Freight House in Rochford to be reopened as soon as possible. This is in advance of the Council taking a formal decision regarding commencement of refurbishment and development works at the site.

The Council welcomes discussion with residents and community groups interested in booking The Mill Arts & Events Centre or wishing to express an interest in operating the building.

Please contact the Council’s Leisure & Cultural Services Team via email, or call them on 01702 963328.