FRIENDS of Barry Mill held their second public meeting in Carnoustie Library last Wednesday evening when over 40 members of the local community were in attendance.
Their intention had been to update the public on the 'Save Barry Mill' campaign and to announce forthcoming events.
But the agenda was changed at the 11th hour due to the presence of two members of the management of the National Trust for Scotland, Mr Michael Hunter, national director of properties, and Mr David McAllister, the area manager responsible for Barry Mill.
This was the first direct contact the Friends had had from NTS, and it was a welcome, if belated, step forward.
The representatives made the Trust's position very clear - there is no money left to sustain operating deficits, so unless cutbacks are made in the current financial year, the Trust will be insolvent.
Barry Mill is one of 11 loss-making properties under threat of closure, and unless external financial support can be found quickly, it will close before the end of the season.
Talks are under way with Angus Council, and a number of major milling companies have also been approached.
The National Trust for Scotland Board met on Friday to decide whether there was any likely prospect the mill can be saved. The outcome of this meeting has not been announced, but it was stated that if it were negative then the mill will close shortly after.
It was also made clear that if the mill closes, the Trust has no intention of selling it, and the property would be mothballed indefinitely, or until it could be re-opened, with the Trust continuing to bear the cost of maintaining it.
If Barry Mill does remain open to the public, then NTS sees the Friends of Barry Mill as a key part of the longer term sustainable solution.
The Friends' efforts so far this season have already had a significant positive impact on visitor numbers and income, they revealed.
The Friends of Barry Mill is a growing group but is still looking for support from the local community in terms of membership subscription, petition signatures, and attendance to Friends' events such as the 'Music at the Mill' evening being held on Saturday, May 23.
Tickets are on sale now at the mill, the Pet and Garden Centre and Fobel Hardware Store.
For more information about the Friends of Barry Mill group and its activities, visit:http://barrymill.wordpress.com or e-mail BarryMillFriends@aol.com
The mill opened its doors to the public on Sunday in celebration of the National Mills Day. Over 200 visitors converged on the facility where a variety of events were held including face painting, treasure hunts, story-telling, live music and a plant sale.
The Friends of Barry Mill also held a collection in which 100 was raised, more than any other year, to go towards the 'Save the Mill' campaign.
Next Saturday, May 23, local musicians will be playing at the Mill on Sunday night in an evening of live music.
Acts playing at the evening include, Esperi, Panda Su, Iain MacCaulay, Andy Davis, Malcom Le Maistre and Elliot from the West and many of them are playing at Scotland's biggest festivals this year.
Tickets are available from the Mill, Carnoustie Pet Shop and Fobel Harware Store in Carnousite. They cost 5 for adults, 3 for 'Friends of Barry Mill' Members, and 1.50 for children under-14. All the proceeds go toward the 'Save the Mill' campaign.