A RESTORED mill which has become an iconic feature in Ryedale is in the running for a national award.

The 18th century watermill is up against six other organisations to win the title of Best Environmental Project in the National Lottery Awards as part of the annual search for the UK's favourite lottery funded projects.

Now used as an environmental education centre for school groups, community organisations and members of the public, the mill will scoop a £2,000 prize and will appear on BBC one in September at the awards ceremony if they receive the most public votes to win.

Martin Phillips from Howsham Mill said that without the help of lottery funding the mill would not have been transformed in to the building and educational facility that it is today.

He said: "We're delighted to have reached the finals of the National Lottery Awards. Lottery money has really helped us to restore this wonderful building that we have grown to love."

The mill is also responsible for generating hydro-electricity from a waterwheel and a fish-friendly Archimedes screw turbine, the first to be installed in the UK.

The mill received a total of £643,100 through the National Lottery Heritage Lottery Fund and as a result of that money, people who visit the mill can learn about sustainability, renewable energy systems and the processing of wheat in to flour.

To vote for Howsham Mill phone 0844 836 9687 or visit www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk/awards. Voting closes at midnight on July 23rd.