The Old Willow Works Phase One...In recent years the Willow works has been used as a cattle barn. The lean-to shed at the west end, which had been used as an open-air storage and drying area for willow, collapsed some years ago. The main building was now in a dangerous condition and fencing had been erected to prevent access. Some roof tiles were missing and this allowed rainwater in, damaging the brickwork, roof timbers and flooring. Broken guttering had caused further deterioration where water has flowed down the walls rather than the drainpipes. Left on its own, the building may have collapsed at any time - heavy snow, a single very bad storm or a wet and windy winter could have been the final blow.
The first option to restore the Old Willow Works was chosen by The Parish Council after many meetings with The Environment Agency and a sub committee was set up to progress the project. Funding was secured from Gainsborough Alchemy for a feasibility study, Nottinghamshire County Council and Building Better Communities for repair work. The first stage feasibility study was completed in October 2005. A main consideration for work to be carried out was, wherever possible, to use local tradesmen and materials.
In May 2006 an Open Day was held at the Willow Works to exhibit the completion of Phase One of the restoration project, to which over 70 people were invited all of whom had been involved in some way. Further funding was sought and efforts were made to secure the next phase.