THE NEWS that Barry Mill is to remain open has delighted campaign group Friends of Barry Mill.

The activists were formally told by the National Trust for Scotland at their meeting on Tuesday that its future had been secured after Angus Council agreed to support the property.

It was one of 11 properties being considered for closure as part of the charity's drive to reduce costs.

Now, as reported in last week's Guide & Gazette, thanks to additional support from Angus Council and the Gibson Graham Charitable Trust, the mill - the only remaining operational mill of its type on the Scottish mainland - will remain open. And there will be no staff redundancies.

National Trust for Scotland chief executive Kate Mavor said: "Barry Mill is a wonderful property and we are very pleased that we are now in a position to keep it open to the public.

"It's an important part of the industrial heritage of Scotland."

She continued: "The Trust is very grateful to Angus Council and the communities and individuals who have pledged support to the mill, helping to secure its future.

"We hope that people will continue to support Barry Mill and our charity, by visiting our properties, becoming members and volunteers and supporting our appeals."

Angus Council's convener of neighbourhood services, Councillor Jim Millar, commented: "The council welcomes the opportunity to work in partnership with the National Trust for Scotland to retain this important part of the heritage of Angus."

Chairman of Friends of Barry Mill Mr James Anderson told the Guide & Gazette: "We are delighted by the National Trust for Scotland's decision to keep Barry Mill open to the public. The success of the campaign to keep the mill open would not have been possible without the wide ranging support that has seen visitors flock to the facility.

"Our heartfelt thanks go out to all who have supported the campaign, particularly all those who have joined the Friends of Barry Mill, and the MSPs, MPs and local councillors who have all given their support.

"Peter Murphy deserves a special mention for supporting the cause not only in council meetings, but also being on the ground at the mill to take part in events."

But Mr Anderson stressed that this was only the first step.

He continued: "We see cultural tourism, education and strong links with the local community as being central to the future of the facility. The mill and its grounds are an incredible resource that should be used to their full potential.

"Building on the success of events such as the Easter duck races, National Mills Open Day in May and Music at the Mill in July, we will be announcing a full year-long programme of events soon.

"Still to come this year will be the Vintage Steam Rally on August 30 and a Spooky Hallowe'en party.

"The event we are looking forward to the most, though, is a celebratory party that will build on the success of the mill as a music venue. The date will be announced shortly, it will be free to the public and everyone is welcome to bring a picnic and enjoy the music."