£608,200 grant means that Viva can transform derelict Spencer Mill into cultural hub for the community

PUBLISHED: 12:30 05 July 2019 | UPDATED: 12:30 05 July 2019

Viva�s dreams are to become a reality thanks to a �608,200 grant for their Spencer Mill Poject, which will bring Soham�s only remaining mill back to life. This is what the derelict mill currently looks like. Picture: RACHAEL POLSOM.

Viva�s dreams are to become a reality thanks to a �608,200 grant for their Spencer Mill Poject, which will bring Soham�s only remaining mill back to life. This is what the derelict mill currently looks like. Picture: RACHAEL POLSOM.

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Viva's dreams are to become a reality thanks to a £608,200 grant for their Spencer Mill Poject, which will bring Soham's only remaining mill back to life.

Viva’s dreams are to become a reality thanks to a £608,200 grant for their Spencer Mill Poject, which will bring Soham’s only remaining mill back to life. This is what the derelict mill could look like in the near future. Picture: RACHAEL POLSOM.Viva’s dreams are to become a reality thanks to a £608,200 grant for their Spencer Mill Poject, which will bring Soham’s only remaining mill back to life. This is what the derelict mill could look like in the near future. Picture: RACHAEL POLSOM.

Viva Arts and Community Group received the National Heritage Lottery funding to transform the derelict Edwardian mill into a into a community theatre space complete with a café and venue hire.

Having already secured funding of £180,000 from East Cambridgeshire District Council the redevelopment can begin.

Viva's founder and Soham District Councillor Daniel Schumann said: "This is truly amazing news and will enable us to turn this dream into a reality for Viva, Soham and East Cambridgeshire.

"Without doubt Viva's roots are firmly planted in the community where it continues to flourish.

"The facility will be used by young and old with a range of activities on offer. It will also host school holiday activity clubs, parties and celebrations, film nights, quiz nights and regular whole community social events."

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Viva say the transformation will create jobs, help local people develop transferable skills and once again position the Mill building as an "important contributor to the local economy".

Councillor Anna Bailey, leader of East Cambridgeshire District Council, said: "East Cambs District Council is excited to support this brilliant endeavour for a new community and arts facility in Soham.

"There are so many good things happening in Soham recently and such a great sense of community.

"This gem of a building is going to provide a fantastic new community facility for Soham and beyond and I congratulate all at Viva for running such a great campaign to bring it to reality."

The project is one of six to have been awarded a share of £5.1m in the Midlands and East of England with projects.

The Mill is a rare survivor of a once thriving milling industry employing many people, shaping the town and its economy

Viva's vision is to create a community theatre with a vibrant programme as well as a community space that is available for hire by the community.

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