Business Plan 2021-22

From High Salvington Mill Trust

Document Plan and History

Date Author Action Status
20/12/19 H Marsden First Draft Draft 1
05/07/20 J Best Revisions and Corrections to bring the plan up to date, plus the addition of a strategic plan section. Draft 2
20/12/20 J Best + H Marsden Third Draft with approved corrections and removal of strategic plan section into a separate document. Draft 3

Introduction and History

This is a draft business plan and while it is believed by the author(s) that all statements contained therein are correct, until it has been fully considered by all involved and their suggestions for corrections and revisions incorporated, it is possible that it may contain inaccuracies or misapprehensions.

The Mill Trust is the lessee of the site containing High Salvington Windmill, an 18th Century black post mill owned by Worthing Borough Council. Since the inception of the Trust, and its lease from the Council, it has overseen the restoration of High Salvington Windmill, raising funds to defray expenses and providing much of the labour required from members and volunteers. Over the years, the Trust has improved the site by,

  • restoring the windmill,
  • acquiring, moving, restoring and erecting an 18th Century granary from East Grinstead,
  • building a gatehouse, originally envisaged as a shop, but now repurposed as an Archive/Visitor Education Centre,
  • designing and building the “long barn” to provide kitchen, shop, workshop and toilets
  • building a shed to house tools
  • acquiring, restoring and erecting the Glynde Wind Pump, from Beddingham East Sussex.
  • acquiring, restoring and erecting a wind engine and wind generator from Nutley.
  • erecting, and subsequently replacing, where necessary, a variety of temporary structures, e.g. the original canteen “shed”.

As part of fund-raising and maintaining local interest in the windmill, the Trust operates a number of open days and events throughout the year. Due to the age and vulnerability of the windmill, the months when it opens to the public and the number of visitors able to enter the mill each year is necessarily restricted, nevertheless, over 12-14 regular open days each year we aim to provide guided tours for 1400-1500 members of the public, with the mill available for group bookings for much of the year. We host a number of local schools every year who visit in support of their curriculum. Visitors contribute to fund-raising through an entrance fee (£1 for adults), purchases of refreshments or souvenirs and donations.

The primary mission of the Trust is the restoration and preservation of High Salvington Windmill. A secondary objective, expressed in the original constitution, was to provide a site wherein articles relating to rural history could be displayed, working in conjunction with Worthing Museum. Currently, there is no active cooperation with Worthing Museum. To support the mission, the Trust raises funds and undertakes works by opening the site to visitors and offering guided tours of the windmill.

The original Mill Trust and Friends of the Mill organisations have merged, replacing separate management committees with a single Board of Directors. The merged organisation is a Company limited by guarantee, registered in England (4199780), with a memorandum and articles of association that perpetuate the mission of the original organisations. The Trust is also a registered charity (1090637). Individuals may become annual members for a current fee of £4 (£7 for a couple) or life members (£40). The Articles of association allow for the governing Board to expand to twenty directors, but for practical reasons this has, historically, been kept to around a more manageable dozen. After the 2020 AGM there were eight directors. It is the Trust’s aim for up to 49% of Board directorships to be filled by Councillors or other Officers (in accordance with guidance from Worthing Council), nominated by the Council when a vacancy occurs. Since the retirement of the last Councillor on the board on 2019 the Trust has been without any Worthing Borough Council representation. Two councillors were recommended to the Board but, due to professional conflicts of interest, neither were able to become directors. Both are invited to every board meeting and have proffered helpful advice while providing some liaison with both Worthing Borough Council and West Sussex County Council. In 2020 a new Councillor was nominated to replace one of the above who retired, and by the end of the year all due diligence will have completed and he will be the sole Council representative on the Board. The remainder of the directorships are open to the wider membership of the Trust. All Directors must be members and offer themselves to the membership for election to the Board at an AGM. One third are obliged to stand-down each year but are entitled to offer themselves for re-election. The Board may co-opt a Director but any co-opted Director would need to be a member and be elected by the membership at the next AGM to remain a Director.

The Trust is supported by a large body of volunteers, only some of whom are members. We depend upon the volunteer labour and skills of our volunteers to keep the expenditure requirements of activities to a minimum. This volunteer labour has saved the Trust hundreds of thousands of pounds, over the years, and was used to match the financial contribution of the Heritage Lottery Fund that enabled the long barn – providing kitchen, shop, workshop and toilets – to be built. The Trust is also fortunate to have received generous support, over the years, from a number of local businesses who have made materials, equipment, and sometimes, skills, available at cost prices.

Typically, the business plan for the mill follows directly from the mission and can be summarised as maintaining the site and buildings, to preserve the windmill and additional installations for future generations, with periodic budget planning exercises set against planned, preventive and responsive maintenance requirements to identify scope for additional projects.

Future maintenance requirements are identified to the Board at quarterly meetings and expenditure budgets are drawn up, as required. Projects are periodically proposed and accepted or rejected by the Board. Some projects are development projects that improve the value of the site to local people while others are maintenance projects. Recent projects have included correcting the head-sickness of the mill and the restoration of the Nutley wind engine and wind generator. The classification and recording of archive material also continues.

Ongoing Responsibilities

The Trust is committed to the ongoing maintenance and operation of High Salvington Windmill as a working windmill (operated periodically to mill wheat to produce souvenir bags of flour), and to maintain community interest in the mill so as to guarantee its long term future. It would like to introduce a more robust approach to the management of mill and Trust paraphernalia for the benefit of future historians via the development of the Archive. Currently no preservation work is being undertaken on mill artefacts but all of the documents have been catalogued. Improving the Gatehouse for this purpose has provided a space that is also more suited for on-site meetings or small exhibitions.

Working in close collaboration with other mills, via the Sussex Mills Group, the Trust fosters inter-group cooperation that reduces some marketing and souvenir costs while promoting inter-group sharing of experience and skills, for example, the restoration of, and provision of a permanent Sussex home for, the Glynde wind pump and the Nutley wind engine and wind generator.

The mill provides facilities for a number of local schools to send up groups to support classroom lessons in a number of areas of the current curriculum. With the development of the Archive, we hope further to improve this support.

The mill site also provides a facility used by local groups for fund-raising and social meetings, while the events calendar contributes to the social cohesion of the local community. We occasionally host visits from sister mills in Sussex, and further afield, to demonstrate how we do things and learn of alternative approaches from such knowledgeable visitors.

Recent Projects

After leaks were identified, the roundhouse roof has been professionally resurfaced with a material intended to provide ten years of protection. None of the affected timbers appeared to have suffered any long-term damage.

The restoration of the wind engine is complete and a pump has been fitted as a working demonstration. The wind generator is now erected and commissioned with a display using lights.

Following inspection of the sails in 2020 some remedial work was required which was completed in situ. A drone survey of the windmill identified some badly warped and rotting cladding boards on the buck. Scaffolding was erected around the mill for the buck, tail-pole, doors, windows, stocks and sails to all be professionally painted. While the scaffolding was in place, a small volunteer team completed in situ repairs on the sweeps and replaced the required weatherboards. The professional painting of the mill was the first time that a task like this had not been undertaken by volunteers. While some of the reluctance was due to the Covid-19 pandemic there also seemed to be a loss of confidence amongst the maintenance volunteers and a reluctance for anyone to take the lead on a painting project similar to others undertaken over the years, e.g. 2009 and 2013. The professionally contracted work, assisted by volunteers, came in under the budgeted £16,000.

The maintenance volunteers also completed repainting all of the other mill site buildings.

Current Projects

Our small team of archivists continues the process of absorbing, cataloguing and identifying conservation requirements for donated documents, photographs and artefacts, with an ongoing project actively computerising the catalogue. The Archivists also extend the Trust's outreach programme by operating stalls at local events. Mobile display boards have been improved and options to create a more permanent site to display archive material are still being explored.

A village pump has been acquired and is currently being restored and installed near to the Glynde Wind Pump, with its own recirculating water reservoir.


Funding is obtained from several sources. Membership subscriptions, donations, events such as the annual Summer Fête, open day admission charges (£1 per adult), shop and refreshment sales, group visits and occasional facility or equipment hire provide almost all income. Most labour is provided by volunteers, occasionally supplemented with the purchase of external services or expertise. The attitude of the volunteers has been to develop necessary skills “in-house”, even if this slows some tasks, but refer to the comment under Current Projects.

For special projects, funding has been sought from outside sources, and the long barn facilities were enabled by Heritage Lottery funding with matching labour from volunteers, while the Gatehouse refurbishment to accommodate the Archive was supported by donations.

In May/June 2020 a grant of £10,000 was paid to the Trust from the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (RHLGF) administered by Worthing Borough Council. This partly compensated for the loss of income after the Board voted to suspend all open days and events in 2020 to protect vulnerable volunteers and members from the risk of contracting Covid-19.

Reserves currently stand at between seven and eight times average annual income. In 2009 a sinking fund was established with an initial £15,000 and £3,000 is added annually to ensure that sufficient money is available for occasional high cost maintenance procedures, such as rebuilding the sails or replacing a crowntree. Expenditure requirements are periodically reviewed and a small part of the reserve is kept in an instant access account to meet anticipated requirements. The remainder is kept in a higher paying 95 day notice account so that more substantial funds would be available within 3 months of a requirement arising.


Risks faced by the Trust include the following:

  • an unexpected, rapid deterioration of some part of the mill,
  • fire or natural disaster,
  • unforeseen accidents,
  • reduction of open day and event income due to adverse weather, global pandemic or local area shutdown,
  • reduction of membership income,
  • reduction in volunteer time and skills offered,
  • loss of highly skilled and experienced volunteers through age or other cause.

Risk is handled through the following. Regular inspection and maintenance is carried out by the “millwrights” team who are on site regularly on first and third Sundays and on midweek days as required. Regular planned maintenance is carried out on certain items. The mill meets all current fire regulations and is inspected every year, with alarms and extinguishers tested and maintained. The contract for managing fire inspections and maintaining alarms and extinguishers is paid for by Worthing Borough Council. The electrical system is regularly checked by a qualified electrician. The unforeseen, by its nature, is hard to cater for, but the sinking fund is intended to ensure funds are available to tackle unforeseen maintenance requirements. Income is split between membership subscriptions, open days and large events such as the Fête. We have also benefited from generous bequests and donations. This spreads the income risk. We try to remain attractive to members, providing them with free entrance on open days, an entertaining talk after the AGM, regular newsletters and occasional “Members Only” events.

Our Membership Secretary is tasked with maintaining a very good relationship with the members. We are grateful for the dedication of our volunteers and recognise the value of their contribution. Lead Guides, on open days, have an obligation “to promote a happy and harmonious atmosphere”. We have instituted a training scheme for guides, lead guides, millers and millwrights and try to offer occasional events for the benefit of volunteers. We do not have anyone specifically in charge of the relationship with volunteers, although team leaders, rota organisers for open days and events and the Membership Secretary all have some responsibility for volunteers. New volunteers came forward at the last public meeting held in January 2012 and there are plans being made to repeat this in January 2021. Thereafter, recruitment events will be repeated every 2-3 years. A recruitment exercise in 2020 found a new maintenance organiser but a mass mailing plea for volunteer recruits yielded no results with the planned mass meeting for any respondents having to be cancelled due to Covid-19.

Review for 2021-2022 Business Plan

The requirements for this period will be identified and approved by the April 2021 board meeting and communicated to members at the AGM in June.


The Trust holds a 99 year lease of High Salvington Mill from Worthing Borough Council commenced on 24th June 1977. Under the terms of the lease we pay a yearly rental to the Council which was initially set at £10 per annum with increases of £10 per annum scheduled every twenty years. We now pay £30 per annum and this will increase to £40 per annum on 24th June 2037.

Clause 6 of the lease states,

(6) To insure and keep insured the demised premises at all times throughout the term in the joint names of the Council and the Lessees from loss or damage by fire flood storm or tempest aircraft and malicious damage to the full reinstatement values thereof with some insurance company of repute to be approved in writing by the Council and to pay all premiums and other monies necessary for this purpose and to provide the Council with a copy or copies of such policy or policies of insurance and also to produce to the Council the receipt or receipts for each such premium and to cause all monies received by virtue of each such insurance to be forthwith laid out in rebuilding repairing or otherwise reinstating the demised premises as theretofore in a good and substantial manner or in such other manner as shall be previously approved of in writing by the Council and the Lessees PROVIDED ALWAYS (i) that if the rebuilding or reinstatement of the Mill or any part thereof shall be frustrated all the insurance monies relating to the Mill or part in respect of which frustration occurs shall be used for such purposes as determined by agreement between the Council and the Lessees and (ii) that if the Lessees shall at any time fail to insure or keep the demised premises insured as aforesaid the Council may do all things necessary to effect and maintain such insurances and any monies expended by the Council for that purpose shall be repayable by the Lessees to the Council on demand and be recoverable forthwith by action as if such monies formed part of the rent payable hereunder”.

The Treasurer arranges to renew insurance each year on the same basis as the previous year, and this policy does not cover damage or destruction of the buildings. The Trust has assurances from the Council that the Council insures the buildings. Chris Cook, Insurance & Administration Manager sent back the schedule of buildings insured, which included the following information.

Main Mill £2,570,000
Old shed demolished and deleted 2003
Granary (raised building) £ 85,000
Amenity block £ 130,000
New café building £ 5,000 replaces old café building demolished 2007
Gatehouse £ 60,000

Total £2,850,000 (Sum insured at 1st June 2011)

This schedule should be regularly reviewed particularly now the newly acquired wind engine and wind generator are completed.
It should be noted that the Glynde wind pump, Nutley wind engine and generators and the village pump are the property of the Mill Trust and not Worthing Borough Council.

Funding Issues

Membership numbers stand at around 220. Annual membership has declined lately but life members remains steady. Additional outreach activities of the Archivists have boosted awareness of the mill activities. The Summer Fête and Rural Craft Fair organisation is now undertaken by a team of volunteers, so funding from these sources is expected to remain steady or increase.

Expenditure Issues

The creation of a more permanent site to display archive material is still under consideration and may involve some expense. Items for the Archive are purchased as required. The Nutley wind engine and wind generator will require a little ongoing expenditure to keep them maintained. The ongoing maintenance of the buildings and grounds incur expenses as required which varies from year to year. The period 2020/2021 has been one of very high expense (~£16,000) due to the professional cost of buck and sail repainting although costs were kept down by our volunteers use of the same scaffolding to effect weatherboard and some sail repairs.

Manpower Issues

Manpower is supplied by a corps of around 120-150 volunteers who we calculated in 2009 contributed nearly 500 man-days of unpaid labour to the needs of the Mill, with contributions including, (but probably not limited to), financial, secretarial, engineering, wood-working, metal-working, grounds-keeping, painting, computer, printing, shop-keeping, catering, baking, stock-keeping and museum skills. The Trust has no paid employees. Everything is achieved by volunteers. Since these calculations were made, we have established the Archive, together with a regular site maintenance team and the number of donated hours will have substantially increased.

We have three millers authorised to run the mill – an operation that our rules say requires two of them to be present, but two are stepping back from their mill activities. We have therefore identified an urgent need to train a new cohort of millers. An initial program will certify all Lead Guides and some members of the maintenance team to supervise turning the sails on open days, but this will not be enough to qualify them as millers The Mill Operating Manual is currently being reviewed and updated.

We also have a need for more Guides and Lead Guides in particular. The number of open day volunteers was swelled by the last public meeting, and new ones come forward regularly. The Trust needs a continuing stream of fresh volunteers to ensure that excessive demands are not placed on a small number of individuals.

The posts of Company Secretary, Assistant Secretary and Treasurer are currently filled but the Chairman has now retired with the post filled by an acting Chair until a permanent replacement can be found. Succession planning has been made a regular item at the Board Meetings.

The make-up of the Board continues to reflect the major operational functions of the Trust and includes a wealth of experience. The Board has struggled to find any Council nominated members who feel able to take on the role of director and at the start of the year we found ourselves with only two who advise and assist but were unable to become board members. We have recruited two new executive directors but still need more after recent retirements. During the year one of the non-Board Council nominees retired and the Council has nominated a Councillor who is prepared to join the Board and is expected to become a registered Director after due diligence by the end of the 2020. This will leave us with only two non-executive directors where we used to have five or six.

A new Membership Secretary has been appointed and has made an excellent start, including becoming Data Protection Officer.

The Mill Maintenance Coordinator continues to organise the activities involved in the maintenance of the Mill assisted by the (officially retired) Technical Adviser. A replacement for the Mill Maintenance Coordinator, who tendered his resignation with effect from January 1 2021, has been appointed and will take over fully in the new year. The Maintenance Coordinator and Technical Adviser are assisted by a loyal corps of “millwrights”. Apart from open day Sunday mornings the crew meets at times that are convenient to them, although there are moves to restore the regular weekday evening “club” meetings. The Board continues to keep an eye out for individuals with good wood, metal-working and practical engineering skills so as to direct them towards the “millwrights” team to keep this vital working group up to strength. Some Men in Sheds groups have recently taken on a number of small projects on our behalf. The Trust is still searching for someone to take over the Technical Adviser/Chief Engineer role.

The organisation of the Fête was headed up by a new leader this year, and the Craft Fair by one of our Board members. Both events have been efficiently run but new organisers will be required in the future.

Publicity is done on an ad-hoc basis using a variety of traditional and more modern methods. We are limited as to the visitor numbers we can handle so this seems sufficient. There is an actively managed web page, both a Facebook page and group and a Twitter feed.

A new newsletter editor produces regular newsletters, with additional issues during the Covid-19 pandemic to keep members informed and entertained while the site has been closed. The Board needs to remember to keep both the editor and our publicity officer informed of all newsworthy events at the mill or involving the Trust so that they can do their jobs effectively.

Although the Covid-19 pandemic closed the mill so that rotas were unused, the division of the rota organisation task continued this year and seems to function reasonably well, though communications could always be improved. The Guide organiser continues in post and continues to find additional guides to replace those that have retired. Responsibility for table rentals remains with the Treasurer (who lives conveniently close to the mill).

An efficient group of site-keepers continue to maintain the grass, hedges, buildings and the site in general. The shop is well-managed, and our catering organiser continues to make delicious home-made cakes which, in turn, bring additional visitors to the site who are happy to pay £1 entrance fee to come in before they buy refreshments and enjoy the relaxed atmosphere.

It is now eight years since the last successful public recruitment meeting. Last season we combined a celebration of the diamond anniversary of the purchase of the site by Worthing Borough Council with a membership/volunteer event but it resulted in only a few new contacts. A mass mailing of a new volunteering leaflet to local builders, engineers, carpenters and joiners yielded no new volunteers this year. Plans are being made for a specific recruitment event, as early in 2021 as Covid rules permit.

Asset Issues

The windmill is currently in a good state of repair, with sail, body and roundhouse exteriors repainted regularly, and last repainted in 2020, with some weatherboards cladding the buck replaced. The wind pump has also been repaired.

Over the next few years, the sails, which are now over 25 years old, will need replacing; sails are expected to have an average life of between 14 and 25 years. The repairs done to the spring shutter and common sails will extend their life by a few more years. The old steps have now been replaced.

The long barn is in a good state of repair and the workshop was refurbished a few years ago. As well as a mower we now have a high quality strimmer and new hedge trimmer. There are no other outstanding problems with the shop or toilets. Trestle tables are currently stored under a set of covers fitted to the South side of the long barn. The covers are cumbersome and do not provide good protection for the trestle tables, so this may need to be addressed.

The Gatehouse and shed are in a good state of repair. Small space-heaters prevent frost damage or condensation problems.

Fête games are stored in the loft and are in reasonable condition with repairs made as required. Artefacts now managed by the Archivists are often in poor condition and they have indicated their intention to identify conservation requirements for these artefacts, but no results of this have been reported to the Board

Having long benefited from the easy accessibility of the (retired) Technical Advisor’s own workshop and machinery in nearby Mill Lane, the Trust needs to plan for when these are no longer available. Over the long term, the Trust needs to improve the facilities for the Archive and the Workshop, with separate storage areas for items currently stored in both. An idea to redevelop the gatehouse to provide a shop and archive/museum that visitors pass through on entry to the site and expansion of the workshop into the current long barn shop space is being considered.

Outreach and Marketing

Notices of our events have been posted in press and radio and also mentioned on social media.

Our usual 1/3 x A4 leaflets are supplemented with a tri-fold A4 leaflet to be handed out at events where we advertise the mill. Our Archivists have been undertaking an excellent job of extending outreach as part of their initiative to seek documents, artefacts and memories related to the mill.

We help local organisations by renting out equipment and by providing guided access to the mill site. In 2020 the mill was closed to all group visits, although we expect 2021 to be more like 2019 when the Vale School came to the mill with 90 pupils, as well as Beavers and Brownies and a number of visits by other organisations including:

  • Institute of Mechanical Engineers
  • Methodist Church Men's Group
  • Weald and Downland Millers
  • Worthing Childminders
  • Worthing Camera Club
  • Sompting Village Morris,
  • Weavers, Spinners & Dyers,
  • Morgan Sports Car Club,
  • Wey and Arun Canal Trust,
  • Worthing & District Amateur Radio Club.

While publicising their existence and activities some of these local societies have entertained and educated our members and visitors. We also raised funds for St. Barnabas and Chestnut Tree House hospices by holding collections at the gatehouse and village shop to replace the collections we would have held at our cancelled Christmas 2020 carols event.

Legal Issues and Training

We review health, safety and training at every Board meeting.

We have instituted a formal training program for guides, lead guides, millers and “millwrights”[1].

The new GDPR regulations were noted by the Board and changes made to procedures as required.

At the time of writing, we are not aware of any other legal issues that need to be addressed by the Trust, but the question will be considered at the next Board meeting.


There are currently no major projects planned for 2021 that will make a significant call upon Trust funding.

We need to plan for the expenditure that will be required for new sails over the next few years. Depending upon the extent of replacement required, timber for new sweeps, including whips and stocks, may cost many £000s. While volunteers made the sweeps for West Blatchington windmill a few years ago, the expertise and time of these volunteers may be unavailable to the Mill Trust when it needs to rebuild the windmill’s sails.

Open Day income may vary slightly but we hope to more than compensate for this with major event fund-raising.

At present, reserves are healthy, given the continued availability of experienced volunteers to carry out maintenance work. If all major works depended upon purchasing in services from professional suppliers, then we would not consider reserves to be adequate to meet requirements for more than a few years.

We have successfully recruited some new directors. It is important that we continue recruiting efforts to ensure a steady flow of new volunteers. There is a particularly urgent need to train, and accredit, new millers, millwrights and additional guides. We also need volunteers who will commit to the management of the Mill over the long term. Recruitment of new members is also required to restore our rolls to a point where membership income is back to where it used to be.

If the mill had been able to open in 2020, we believe it would continue to be popular with visitors. We could increase advertising, but we are limited in the numbers we can guide around the windmill. An increase of opening hours to increase tour capacity would require a greater commitment from our volunteers and could result in a loss of volunteers and consequent reduction of capacity. We need to consider the cost-benefit analysis of increased advertising or outreach costs given our low (£1 for adults) entrance cost. We think that by keeping a low annual membership cost and low entrance cost we provide one of the best value-for-money attractions in Worthing – and possibly in Sussex. Subject to our capacity constraints, we currently attract a manageable number of visitors to ensure that High Salvington Windmill and ancillary heritage assets are valued and maintained by the people of Worthing, while relieving the burden of funding and maintenance from Worthing Borough Council.

  1. Please note that we use the term “millwrights” (in quotes) to refer to our volunteers who maintain the mill, although technically, none have any formal training in this area, other than what has been learned over 30 years of restoration and maintenance, or what has been imparted via training by those with this experience.