PLANS to transform part of the Leigh Spinners mill are progressing despite a delay caused by asbestos.

Leigh Building Preservation Trust hope to regenerate the part of the iconic grade II listed building not used by the Leigh Spinners Ltd into a centre of sport, creative and business activities.

The first step is to open the steam engine to the public but first the roof needs to be fixed and asbestos found in the engine room needs to be removed.

Peter Rawlinson, from the trust, said: “We have to get the roof sorted or it may fall on to the engine but we have discovered asbestos in the engine house which needs to be removed.

“That means finding a specialist scaffolding company and that is a cost that we hadn’t anticipated. We need to apply for another grant to pay for it.

“It has delayed us as we had hoped to have started work on the roof by now but we hope to have the engine room opened to the public by early next year.

“We have come to arrangement with Leigh Spinners to open the engine on weekends, bank holidays and by arrangement for groups and schools in the week.

“We will also display plans for the rest of the building and pictures of how it is now in the engine house.”

A master plan for the rest of the building is being drawn up by architects at the moment and will be ready in time for a funding application to be submitted in October.

“With regards to the mill and the main lottery application, we should have something ready to go by October 16,” said Peter.

“Once the master plan is ready we will look at holding another consultation towards the end of September so we can continue to get the public’s opinions on it.”

To find out more about the project, visit the Friends of Leigh Spinners Facebook page.