Last ditch bid to save piece of history

By Ian Dipple Thursday 10 July 2014 Updated: 11/07 16:01

A LAST ditch bid is being made to stop a piece of Redditch's history from disappearing forever.

Members of the Point in Time group are facing a four day race against time to save the former Abel Morrall needle factory which is due to be demolished on Monday (July 14).

A campaign was launched last month to try and raise £1million in public donations to save the derelict building next to the Railway Station and turn it into a working museum and a centre of craft excellence.

The Heritage Lottery Fund has indicated its support for the project and has granted the group a start-up fund to help demonstrate the scheme is viable before further funding is considered.

But while the owners of the building have expressed their support for the idea they want to go-ahead with the demolition while the railway line is closed due to work upgrading the track being carried out by Network Rail.

Sharon Burton Fletcher, from the Point in Time group, said unless they could demonstrate they had the ability to raise the £1million by the end of the week they would miss out on a once in a lifetime opportunity to save the site.

"We have a plan to transform the site into an arts, crafts and heritage centre for learning and leisure that would become the envy of the county and would sit at the heart of Redditch's creative community," she said.

"Our appeal is urgent. We have only days to act before the bulldozers move in. Once that happens there is no return and this exciting opportunity, to make a positive contribution to both the local and wider community will be lost forever."

The site has a long history of needle production dating back to the mid-18th century. Prior to 1785 Redditch needle maker T Banks and then H Lewis manufactured on the site. Able Morrall relocated from Studley in 1898 and continued trading as the Aero Group until the 1990s.

Anyone who can help with the appeal should contact Sharon Burton Fletcher on 07889478631.

Visit www.pointintime.co.uk for more information, or search Point in Time Redditch on Facebook and Point in Time Now on Twitter

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