AN historic kiln will be restored to its former glory as a South Derbyshire firm aims to give ‘something back to the community’ and make sure that a vital piece of the area’s heritage is preserved.
Bosses at Neville Lumb, based at Hill Top Works, in Church Gresley, have revealed an ambitious plan to renovate the Grade II-listed structure, which forms part of a massive expansion scheme being outlined by the firm.
The work is scheduled to take several years, but senior figures told the Mail they saw the discovery and subsequent decision to renovate the kiln as the ‘perfect chance to preserve a piece of South Derbyshire heritage’.
Kevin Flint, marketing manager at Neville Lumb, said: “We knew that we had this listed kiln at the back of our site and, once we decided that we wanted to expand the business, we knew it was a great chance to do our bit to give a bit back to the community of South Derbyshire.
“It was decided that we wanted to restore the kiln back to its former glory and preserve a vital bit of the area’s heritage.
“We are a national firm and therefore do not really have a lot to do with the local area, as we supply major firms and chains such as The Shard, in London.
“Once we made the decision about the kiln, we contacted English Heritage and South Derbyshire District Council who have been helping us with our plans.
“This is going to take some time, a few years we imagine, but will be well worth it when it is all done.
“We wanted to do it for two reasons. The first is because we have a responsibility to preserve it as it is a listed building. The second is because it holds significant historical value in the area and is one of very fewer kilns left still around in the good condition that it is.
“We are now obviously coming up with a plan for the works and will look to get started in the very near future.
“Eventually we hope to be able to open up the site for people in the area to come along, see the kiln and learn all about its history.”
Neville Lumb, which began life in 1882, provides a range of commercial, domestic and luxury bathroom products.