Flood-damaged Leeds museum to re-open

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A Leeds museum badly damaged in the recent severe floods will re-open to the public later this month after a mammoth clean-up effort.

Thwaite Mills, one of the last remaining examples of a water-powered mill in Britain, will open its doors again on January 23.

The museum was flooded after the nearby river burst into the Aire and Calder Navigation close to the site.

The mill and the rest of the island on which it sits suffered extensive flooding, covering much of the museum in a thick layer of silt and other debris.

Staff and volunteers have all rolled up their sleeves and mucked in to get the site back on its feet since Boxing Day.

Sarah Barton, keeper at the site, said: “We have been overwhelmed and humbled by the amount of help and support we have received from across Leeds City Council, other organisations and members of the public.

“We are also extremely grateful to the boaters on site, who have not only helped each other through a difficult time but have supported the site staff in getting everything back into a state where we can re-open.

“We’d like to thank everyone who has helped with the clean-up as well as our visitors for their patience while we’ve been closed and we’ll look forward to welcoming them to all the exciting events we have planned in the coming months.”

Councillor Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council, added: “The determination and dedication shown by all those involved in the clean-up at Thwaite Mills has been typical of the incredible community spirit we’ve seen across Leeds over the last few weeks.

“The city has come together and shown true Yorkshire grit, rising to the challenge of getting much-loved places like Thwaite back on their feet and pitching in to help each other cope in what have been some incredibly difficult circumstances.

“Once again I would like to thank all those involved in the clean-up effort. They have been and continue to be a credit to the city, its communities and its people.”

Leeds Industrial Museum at Armley Mills, which was also badly affected, will remain closed while work continues to get the site ready to welcome the public once again.

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