Published: 12/03/2018 19:00 - Updated: 08/03/2018 14:47

Plan B time as 'pop-up' mill scheme is unveiled

Written byNicole Webber

A DETERMINED designer whose ambitious fundraiser to build the Highlands’ first weaving mill fell short of its target is on the way to success with her Plan B.

Claire Campbell’s initial bid to build the Black House Mill on the Black Isle secured £148,000 worth of pledges from 853 backers in 26 countries but fell short of the ambitious £500,000 target she set herself.

Her resolve to convert a disused Resolis farm steading into a weaving hub capable of meeting global demand for tartan remains strong with £35,000 raised in a fresh bid to build the west wing of the mill and set the project rolling. She’s just £5000 short of the build cost.

In addition, the Black Isle woman is set to establish a "pop-up mill" in Evanton to start delivering on the gift pledges made to backers who have got behind her to date.

Ms Campbell explained: "We have broken the project down into bite-size chunks but the main aim of Plan B is to get cracking."

All profits from the pop-up mill will be invested into the Black House Mill renovations.

"Plan B is also about seizing the opportunity to start weaving tartan cloth in a temporary home as quick as we can, allowing us to deliver on campaign rewards and grow our business to generate further funds to build the Black House Mill," she said.

Fundraising for the rest of the mill will begin in June with a £250,000 target hit for July next year. The £40,000 west wing will provide an area for customising the tartan products weaved in the Highlands.

The Prickly Thistle team will be using traditional boat shuttle looms sourced from around the UK.

She’s staying tight-lipped on the second phase of fundraising: "It is like the Outlander books, you have to take it page by page, chapter by chapter to enjoy it" she said.

Outlander creator Diana Gabaldon and heart-throb star Heughan have both offered their public backing. To find out more about the project search for Kickstarter Build the Mill.

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