IT is often said that silence speaks volumes and many believe that rings true over the North of England Civic Trust’s refusal to publicly address concerns about Gayle Mill.

The Gayle Mill Trust (GMT) has left the building and it is to their credit, and a reflection of the value they place on the historic mill, that they are more than willing to help when - or if - it reopens to the public.

The real shame of the matter is that the “if” is hanging in the air due to the NECT’s repeated refusal to comment publicly on the situation.

Their silence has only served to fuel speculation over what the future holds for this valued community asset.

Rumours are rife that it will be mothballed for long enough to gain planning permission to change its use to holiday flats.

Such a thing may not even be possible under planning legislation but the NECT’s silence is concerning.

A statement released in January went into fair detail over the works to be carried out on the 17th century building in the next year.

Yet what was lacking was any evidence that funding has been secured, that any feasibility studies have been carried out or that any contractors have been appointed.

Even a lay person can see that 12-months seems a very short time to carry out the comprehensive work from total scratch.

Perhaps the widespread fears are unfounded and the NECT has a masterplan in place to reopen a rejuvenated Gayle Mill to great fanfare next Easter.

One would certainly hope so, but if that is the case, then why the deafening silence?