Yet the public overwhelmingly wants these historic buildings to be preserved and given a new lease of life, rightly recognising that they are not just bricks and mortar, but a vital part of our heritage.
Yorkshire’s mills tell the story of how our county became one of the great workshops of Britain. They helped to create the prosperity that built towns and cities and in their own way helped to forge the values and character that define Yorkshire.
Historic England’s call for a rethink on the future of mills is timely and should be heeded by the Government. There are excellent examples across Yorkshire of imaginative and sympathetic conversions to create both workplaces and homes, and these point the way forward.
There is no good reason why mills should be left to fall into dereliction when there is a national shortage of affordable homes and many entrepreneurs looking for office space for start-ups.
It is high time that mills were regarded not as relics of a bygone age, but buildings that have a part to play in a bright future.