Warning to stay out of Lisburn mill after ‘young people leave structure unsafe’

Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council are continuing to urge residents not to trespass at Hilden Mill.

Friday, 2nd July 2021, 10:26 am
Updated Friday, 2nd July 2021, 10:28 am
Hillden Mill
Hillden Mill

The local authority said the structure of the building was now “unsafe” after recent fires were “started by groups of young people."

Six fire engines were called to the scene on June 22 and firefighters were back at the site on June 23.

The site, which opened in 1823, was formerly home to the Barbour Thread factory but has lain empty since 2006.

An English developer company bought the property in 2017 but a redevelopment scheme is yet to be established.

In a statement issued, a council spokesperson said: “The mill owners, the PSNI and the council are concerned someone will get seriously injured. Hilden Mill is cordoned off to prevent unauthorised access and personal injury.

“We have been advised by the mill owners that security measures are in place and that trespassers will be prosecuted.

“We encourage parents to know where their children are at all times and help avoid anti-social behaviour, criminal damage to private property and most importantly to ensure their safety.”

However, community activist for Lagan Valley, Gary Hynds questioned what evidence the council had to accuse young people of causing recent blazes.

He said: “Have you actual evidence that these fires have all been started by groups of young people?

“I think you should produce it if you are going to say that with certainty.

“The council have failed massively on this for years and continue to. Action needed, not words.”