Quarry Bank Mill has been had to be closed to the public after a number of members of staff fell ill to a mystery virus.
Quarry Bank, one of Britain’s greatest industrial heritage sites – has just undergone a £9.3m revamp but the mill had to be closed early on Saturday when several of the staff were taken ill with sickness and diarrhoea.
A number of volunteers who could have taken their place were instructed not to attend. An investigation into the outbreak has been launched by Public Health England.
The National Trust has issued the following statement: “Due to a high level of illness among National Trust staff we have made the decision ourselves to close Quarry Bank and investigations are underway into what has caused it. At this stage it’s not possible to pinpoint the exact source of the illness, or determine whether it originated at Quarry Bank.”
“We are working closely with the local environmental health officer to support them in their investigations. We want to do all that we can to look after our visitors, staff and volunteers, and while we understand people will be disappointed by the closure, we won’t reopen until we are completely satisfied that everything is back to normal.”
Public Health England said: “PHE North West’s Cheshire and Merseyside health protection team and Cheshire East Council are investigating an outbreak of diarrhoea and vomiting linked to Quarry Bank in Cheshire. We are aware of an illness reported by a number of National Trust employees.”
Quarry Bank Mill has had an extensive refurbishment. It closed for the work to start in November 2017 and re-opened again last summer. A lift was installed making the entire mill accessible to everyone, and the restaurant area was doubled in size.