After years of hard work, 2011 saw restoration finally completed on The Willow Works community facility at Beckingham, Nottinghamshire. It is the only surviving building of what was once one of the main cottage industries of the area. After the decline of the local willow working industry, the building was left to deteriorate. Two options were available: demolish or refurbish.
First, the local community secured funding to make the building safe. A partnership then came together that ensured further funding was secured allowing the building to be fully restored. Groundwork took full ownership of the building and led the refurbishment. The Willow Works now represents a flagship refurbishment project for the area. It has also become the cornerstone of the Heritage Lottery-funded Trent Vale Landscape Partnership programme of work.
Funding for the major project came from a variety of sources such as WREN, the Heritage Lottery Fund, STAR Energy, The Environment Agency, Nottinghamshire County Council, Groundwork, and Beckingham-cum-Saundy Parish Council.
The building has been fully refurbished by Crestra Limited, from design and planning, through to implementation. The venue now houses exhibition and training rooms, a function room and full welfare facilities. It offers a fabulous new local resource that will appeal to both community and business users alike.
The local history group has also made the building ts home, and the Trent Vale Landscape Partnership team now occupies the newly created office space. The building also stands on the edge of one of the RSPB’s largest nature reserves, the Beckingham Marshes.