FORMER Manchester United and England footballer Gary Neville is to visit South Yorkshire to open new offices, developed from an old mill.
Mr Neville has agreed to open the Old Corn Mill, near Penistone, because of his interest in environmental sustainability. He is the founder of an organisation called Sustainability in Sport and is currently having his own eco home built.
The Old Corn Mill is one of only about a dozen “carbon negative” commercial properties in the whole of England and Wales. A combination of solar panels, wind turbines and water power means the building at Bullhouse Mill, at Millhouse Green, near Penistone, produces more energy than it consumes, with the exported surplus effectively removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, giving it an energy performance rating of A+.
The former United captain will be joined for the opening on October 13th by Communities Minister Andrew Stunell, who is leading government efforts for greater sustainability of buildings. Mr Stunell is also MP for Hazel Grove.
Mr Neville said: “It’s great to see offices like this being built. It just shows that businesses as well as individuals can do their bit for the environment.”
Local dignitaries, including the mayor of Barnsley Coun Karen Dyson and local MP Angela Smith, are also to attend the ceremony.
Charles Booth, the man behind the Old Corn Mill, said: “The location on the edge of the Pennines is perfect to harness nature. We have wind, water and sun. It sounds a bit utopian, but it has to be the way forward for buildings of the future. And what makes this building all the more remarkable is that part of it is 250 years old”.
The Old Corn Mill is the original 1750s three-story mill that has been renovated, with the addition of a new two-storey extension.
The building has many energy efficient features, including triple glazing; substantial wall, floor and ceiling insulation; low-energy appliances; eco lighting, and an insulated lobby. Underfloor heating is provided using a geothermal water source beneath the car park.
As well as photovoltaic cells, which are on an adjoining warehouse, there are two wind turbines in neighbouring fields and a water turbine in the River Don, which runs past the site.
Two tenants have already moved into the building; a solar PV installer and Danish furniture manufacturer.