EUROMILLIONS WINNER PLANS TO REVAMP HERDMAN’S MILL
It’s usually the Lottery companies who help revamp buildings such as Herdman’s Mill, but this time it’s EuroMillions winner Margaret Loughrey.
Margaret Loughrey from Strabane won £26.863m in the EuroMillions draw held on November 27, 2013, the biggest ever jackpot won by someone from Northern Ireland. Speaking after winning the big prize, Loughrey pledged to stay in Strabane and said of her winnings “All it will do is change lives for the better and make a lot of people happy, not just me.”
It’s believed that the EuroMillions lottery winner paid £1m to buy the Mill. The 62-acre complex is located on the banks of the River Mourne and Margaret plans to turn it into a leisure and tourism destination. Her plans include a museum highlighting the North West’s industrial heritage as well as sports and community facilities for local people.
Herdman’s Mill has a rich history and was owned for 170 years by the Herdman family. At one time it employed more than 1,000 staff but ceased spinning linen ten years ago. After a decline in the property market, a winding-up order was issued by Ulster Bank and the Herdman family lost control of the property three years ago. A month after that the site was badly damaged by fire. There have been several owners since then and now it’s the turn of Margaret to try and revamp the site.
The estate agent in charge of the sale to the EuroMillions winner was Ronan McAnenny, who believes her purchase of the mill is great news for the whole area. He told reporters that the buyer has a ten-year plan and the main job now is to get the site cleaned up, get the roof back on the old mill, replace the windows and “give it a general tidy-up so it begins to look how it used to look.”
He’s hopeful that other funding will be available to help rebuild the site and there could be as many as 50 jobs created in the Sion Mills area. Plans will be limited however by the fact the mill is a listed building.
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