It was sold in 2013, destined for demolition with proposals for a social housing estate or recycling plant.
There was no proposal to save the mill from demolition.
“Why is it, our first thought is always to demolish?
A few decades later we wonder why we have lost all our buildings that have character.
At Raceview Mill we treasure our old buildings.
We repair them and allow small businesses to use them to create jobs and increase tourism”
The first task at Raceview was to bring in the JCBs to clear up acres of waste strewn everywhere and to do essential repairs to collapsing walls and roofs.
Two massive turbines were dug out of their concrete grave, sand blasted and placed in pride of place.
Our solution was to add "kerb appeal" by building a new attractive village street in keeping with the old mill buildings.
Our plans were unanamously approved by the council planning committee and the press were equally supportive.
We called the new street “Mill Lane” and when we were finished, it was made an attractive entrance to the mill complete with a village square and pump.
The attractive village street leads visitors down the mill to the oldest buildings at the back of the site.
Work on building the new street began in 2014 and was complete by 2015.
The latest building to be repaired was the 200 year old Wool Tower.
It's roof was caving in and another year of dereliction would have meant the building was beyond saving.
Back from the brink, the Wool Tower, with its brick arches ceilings, massive pine beams and amazing original mill tiled stone floors is the perfect location for weddings, conferences or other high end events.
Now Raceview Mill is a thriving, growing business village, atracting thousands of visitors a year, for instance over 2000 on St Patricks day.
Already well over 50 jobs have been created, with new businesses moving in every month.
“Raceview Mill is a shining example of preserving industrial heritage” Mark H Durkan, NI Minister of the Environment.
Raceview Mill is a unique idea.
Take a large, derelict industrial site and turn it into a Tourist destination
AND a business village specialisting in artisan food, arts and crafts
AND a venue for markets, weddings and other events.
AND an evironmental success story, preserving heritage and creating jobs through regeneration.
We are a small family business and without the help and understanding of our local community. council, and councillors we could never have brought Raceview Mill back from the brink.
The most recent ocupier was the Patton Group of construction
companies who used it for workshops,sales, offices, canteens and recreation areas including an indoor football pitch!
Unfortunately the Patton Group went into liquidation and the mill fell derelict.
In 1806 John Harrison established a bleach green on the Raceview Road in Broughshane.
This was converted to a flax spinning mill in 1832.
In 1893 under the ownership of J.K Wilson it became Raceview Woollen Mill.
The land around the mill was not in good order, with sections taken over and used for dumping and dog fouling.
When all the rubbish was cleared, we were left with an ugly industrial concrete yard.
The old buildings and the tower we really wanted to save were too far back in the site for anyone to see them, far less want to visit them.
We are delighted to say that owners of simlar properties are now taking an interest in the Raceview Mill success story.
We hope the work we have done will inspire others in Northern Ireland to consider the possibility of preserving our old buildings before demolishing them.
Thanks for reading our story.