Whitchurch Silk Mill has been awarded £50,000 in funding from the Postcode Society Trust. 

The industrial heritage museum is the oldest working silk mill in the country and still produces silk fabrics using historic Victorian machinery. 

Both silk ribbon weaving and silk weaving are, however, endangered crafts, requiring significant funds and expertise to keep the collection maintained and operational.

People’s Postcode Lottery has raised more than £1.2b for thousands of charities and local good causes. 

Each week, players in a winning postcode share £1m in the Millionaire Street prize. This prize is split between tickets in the full winning postcode. Charities based in the Millionaire Street winning postcode areas can also be awarded a share of £1m. 

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The winning postcode in Whitchurch, announced on December 23, is close to the mill, so it has been selected to receive a grant too.

Sue Tapliss, mill director, said: “We urgently need help to preserve living weaving heritage. There are now only four silk ribbon weavers in the UK, one of whom works here. It’s a profession that cannot be taught at college or university.

“The funding raised by the People’s Postcode Lottery players will allow us to conserve this endangered craft and educate a future generation, inspiring them to preserve living weaving heritage at the mill.

“Now, the mill team would like to thank all of the “RG” postcode players for playing the People’s Postcode Lottery and giving the mill such great news this Christmas.”

The mill is offering free admission from Saturday, December 30, until January 31 for everyone living in the RG postcode area. 

All people need to do is bring a utility bill or another form of identification with the address printed on it, there is no need to book.

From January 2, the mill will be open Tuesday to Sunday 10.30am to 5pm.