Insight Project- Update

We hear you!

The Mill Board of Trustees recently undertook an Insight survey to find out exactly how the residents of Middleton and Cottingham feel about our current Village Hall facility and what they would like to see in the future.

Over the last few months we have conducted desk top research, in depth interviews, held focus groups, and sent out an online survey to everyone in the Villages and we would personally like to thank everyone that spent time feeding back their thoughts and opinions.  This invaluable information has greatly improved our understanding of the tasks ahead.

So what does this now mean for you?  In a nutshell our current Village Hall facility is highly valued, but very underutilised.  We also know that if we had all the money in the world, we would completely reconfigure the current Village Hall or possibly look at building a completely new facility.  However, with the funds as they currently stand and with what you have told us we now need to prioritise the following improvements:

  • Toilets 
  • Parking
  • Kitchen Expansion

Other improvements we also need to work on include:

  • Layout
  • Acoustics
  • Comfort/furniture
  • Décor/Lighting/Appearance
  • Access to outside/patio
  • Storage
  • Entrance/Front space
  • Online booking system
  • Wi-Fi / Screen

We have already started work on some areas which include a better bar, improved décor and making the hall watertight with new roofing.  We will also continue to work at a pace to get the new car park in place.

Our fundraising activities, including the Village Fete, Wine Tasting/Food nights, Race Nights and Pop Up Bar evenings to date have raised over £50,000.  Thank you to all the volunteers who have worked tirelessly to help with these events!   

As well as continuing with our fundraising events, we also now plan to investigate how we can apply for further grants to raise more funds so that we can start to make the improvements you have asked for.  

Thank you again for feeding into our survey.  It is your Village Hall and ultimately it is our goal to make it a much busier, more desirable place that you will want to use now and in the future.

If you would like further information or would like to become a Mill Board Trustee and/or have the capacity to help us with our vision please get in touch via

English Fizz and Wine Tasting…. Roaring success!

The latest wine tasting took place 1 June in the village hall, with a focus on English sparkling and still wines from 6 counties including one from nearby Welland Valley Vineyards. A great time was had by all and a profit of £702.53 raised in support of Mill Hub projects. A total of just over £6,700.00 has now been raised by these events. The next tasting is Saturday 21 September.  If you’re not already on the mailing list and would like to hear directly about future wine tastings, please contact Jan Robertson at,


Have your say on the future of the Cottingham & Middleton Village Hall Annex

As a local resident we would like to invite you to participate in a guided discussion/focus group session, about the future of the Village Hall Annex. Your contribution will help shape the future of our community facility and your input will be greatly appreciated.

If you’re interested in attending and to ensure your opinions are heard, please see details below: 

What:                    6 x Focus Groups (max. 8 people per group)

When:                   Mid-February 2024, late PM / early evenings – various dates

Where:                 Village Hall Annex

Eligibility:             Over 18’s, local resident

To confirm your interest in attending please email Jo Beattie – or contact via message on 07584 070598.  

We look forward to including you in these important conversations and thank you in advance for your participation. 

Finally, please do help us spread the word to invite as many residents as possible.

Australian Wine Tasting

The latest wine tasting, raising funds for the Cottingham and Middleton community hub projects, took place Saturday 18 November in the village hall. 

Brian, our resident wine expert, with support from Jan, Del, Glynn, Jo and Richard, took us down under to Oz and the vineyards of Southern Australia and Victoria. Our biggest event yet with all 50 seats taken it was great to have lots of returners and first timers come along, with lots of laughter and opportunity to chat and enjoy the 6 wines poured. 

Across ticket sales, a raffle and the bottle in a bag draw, the evening raised a total of £944.67

Thanks to Majestic Wines, M&S, The Savoy Cinema and Rodney Davis Optomotrists for their great donations and thanks also to all others who donated prizes. 

Since the tastings began, a total of £5,053.41 has been raised by these events.

Plans are coming together for next year’s events and if you would like to be added to the mailing list for future wine tastings please email Jan Robertson at

The Mill Community Hub Premises License

We are please to announce that The Mill Community Hub has been granted a premises licence to carry out licence activities.

North Northants Council licensing department granted the licence on 27th July 2023. You can find out what the licence covers here.

This is one of the short term goals completed and there will be more information on upcoming events soon.

South African wine tasting raises £746

The South African wine tasting event at the Village Hall Annex on Saturday 4 March was another great success, raising an amazing £746.08 for The Mill.

Thanks to our village wine buff Brian Redshaw for leading the tasting, to Glynn Lowe and Del Robertson for providing the hors d’oeuvres, and to Jan Robertson, Joanne Leaning and Rich Guilford for looking after everyone on the evening.

Thanks too to all locally who donated raffle prizes, and to Majestic Wines of Market Harborough and the Savoy Cinema, Corby, for their generous donations.

And, of course, thanks to all our eager wine tasters who came along to support the event. It was a fabulous evening, for a great cause!

Mill update – Happy New Year!

Happy New Year from all of us on the Mill Board of Trustees.

You may have noticed we have been very quiet over the past year, but we assure you we have been working hard in the background to define the short, medium, and longer-term objectives of The Mill Community Hub project.

We start by introducing some new members to the Board: Sian Coughlan of Middleton Parish Council and residents, Leigh Morrell, Peter Tyldesley, and Andrew Butcher. We say a huge thank you to our most recent departing board members Tony Freeman and Pete Bowman for their hard work and commitment over the years.

Post-pandemic we have seen a significant reduction in available funding pots to support the construction of new buildings. Typically, the small amount of funding that is available has tight “green” credentials within its criteria. This means that the current plans for the proposed new building would need significant tweaking and, potentially, re-submission for Planning Permission.  We recognise that these factors will cause significant delays to the long-term objective of building a new structure. So the Board has been thinking hard about what would be the next best move for our community.

At this time we feel that prioritising the enhancement of the existing Villages’ facilities is the right approach. In line with our constitution, it has given us the opportunity to re-evaluate where this Board of Trustees can add value at this time to our community.

Our medium-term goal, therefore, is to support our friends on the Village Hall Management Committee (VHMC) to ensure we have a future-proof solution to the sustainability and profitability of our current community facility.

However, we are planning to build the car park element of the Mill project in the fairly near future.  This will be in the field beyond the school towards Bringhurst.  This will have multiple benefits such as providing parking at school drop-off and pick-up times, parking for events and meetings at the Village Hall Annex, and enabling greater use of the recreational field for sports.

For us to achieve any of our medium/long-term objectives we need to begin with some smaller initiatives.

In February we will be launching our calendar of fundraising events for 2023, we really want to gain as much village engagement and support to regain the momentum we had pre-pandemic. If you have any ideas or events, you would love to attend please drop us an email at

We have created a comprehensive communications plan to ensure that we are keeping you all up to date with news, progress, and exciting changes throughout the year make sure you follow us on Facebook.

Until next month,

The Mill Board.

French wine tasting raises £660

A fourth wine tasting event took place at the Village Hall Annex on Saturday 22nd October with our village ‘Wine Buff’ Brian Redshaw, this time sampling the delights of the Loire Valley, France, with hors d’oeuvres provided by Del Robertson and Glynn Lowe.

It was yet another well received and enjoyable evening with a ‘full house’ and the addition of raffle prizes kindly donated by The Royal George; Blackthorn Café; The Falcon Hotel, Uppingham; Marks and Spencer, Corby and generous villagers alike. Added fun for the night was taking a chance on a ‘Bottle in a Bag’ – a gamble of winning either water or alcoholic delights!

The event raised a fabulous £660.40, with all proceeds going toward The Mill Community Hub project.

Thank you to everyone who attended and gave support on the night. 

Progress update

From Acting Joint Chairs George West-Robinson and Sarah Brant

Firstly, thank you to everyone who has continued to get behind, donate to and talk about The Mill.

Our third pop-up attic sale raised almost £450. Thank you to both churches for the loan of tables, to all the contributors, and to the volunteers who turned out on the day to sell, buy, deliver and provide welcome refreshments when the weather chilled.

We are very excited to have been able to appoint additional Charity Trustees, each of whom brings particular experience, skills and interests to help drive the project forward.

Looking ahead, we plan to start constructing the splay and entrance to The Mill site as soon as weather permits in the New Year.

Our Spanish Wine Tasting event on 27 November is now sold out, and we’re holding a Christmas Craft Sale in the room above the shop from 29 November to 3 December.

Other plans for fundraising and early construction tasks are in the pipeline. Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any great ideas, feedback or offers of help. We’ll continue to keep you posted.