Moray Woolmill wins Europe's highest heritage honour

A woolmill located in a remote part of the Scottish Highlands has beaten projects from all over Europe to win the highest honour in the heritage field, much to the delight of Alyn and local MSP Richard Lochhead. 

Knockando Woolmill in Abelour, Moray, is one of just four UK projects to win the 2016 European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage/Europa Nostra Award, reserved only for projects deemed to be “outstanding examples of creativity, innovation, sustainable development and social participation”. 

Alyn Smith MEP said:

“The jury was absolutely stunned by Knockando, and I can see why! 

“For instance, the byre was transformed into a visitor centre, which has done wonders for attracting folk and teaching them about the Woolmill’s heritage. Thanks to a combination of community involvement, employment opportunities, and bringing visitors flocking to a fairly remote region, Knockando is a superb example of rural revitalisation and how we can use EU funds to do the same throughout Scotland.” 

Richard Lochhead MSP added:

“I’m delighted to see Knockando win this award. The Woolmill is a real example of local revival, having produced world-class textiles continuously for 200 years and now training young people in traditional crafts that might otherwise be lost.  

“Knockando Woolmill, which is an outstanding local asset, is steeped in local history, and the heritage experts rightly highlighted it as being deserving of European, if not international, recognition."