Hampshire Cultural Trust has said that the closure of Bursledon Windmill to the public was ‘unfortunately necessary.’

This comes after Hampshire County Council approved the trust’s plan to cut funding.

The trust notified the county council to withdraw from the site – located off Junction 8 of the M27, between Southampton and Portsmouth – in September 2023, with the notice period ending on March 31, 2024.

The council entered into a management and funding agreement with the trust in 2014, to transfer responsibility for providing the council’s arts, museum, and heritage services.

In February 2023, Eastleigh Borough Council terminated its funding agreement with the cultural trust of the Grade II listed building, which became effective in August 2023, when financial support was withdrawn.

This resulted in the trust asking the county council if it could end operations at Bursledon Windmill due to financial difficulties following the funding withdrawal, which the council agreed to in September 2023.

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In a statement, chief executive of Hampshire Cultural Trust Paul Sapwell, said: “Our withdrawal from operating Bursledon windmill was unfortunately necessary due to two factors.

“First of these was the withdrawal of funding by Eastleigh Borough Council; the second factor was the complexity of operating the mill, its very specific health and safety needs, and the associated costs.”

Mr Sapwell added: “Unfortunately, revenue from admissions, the shop and small café were not sufficient to support operations.

“Despite discussions with all parties involved, we were unable to find a viable and sustainable solution to retain the mill within Hampshire Cultural Trust.”

Bursledon Windmill has been a working windmill and heritage attraction since the 1990’s.

The site has 26 historic objects on display, associated with the social history of 19th and 20th-century farming life.

A council report said: “The council accepts the future course of action suggested by the cultural trust in connection with the venue closure, including management of accessioned Items, handling objects, and other assets.”