A PUBLIC-SPIRITED schoolboy has launched a campaign to save one of Bournemouth’s most historic buildings.

Kieran Selby is calling on the owners of Throop Mill to safeguard the grade two listed building for future generations.

The 15-year-old has started an online petition urging Heygates to sell the derelict mill, on the banks of the River Stour, to Bournemouth council, a private investor or English Heritage.

Since the mill ceased operating in 1972 campaigners have been calling for its transformation into a heritage centre.

Kieran, who lives in Muscliff and attends Bishop of Winchester Academy, said: “Throop Mill has been an iconic part of Bournemouth for many years and I want to highlight its plight.

“Sadly it is no longer open to the public and, despite being listed, has fallen into a state of disrepair.

“I pass the mill almost every day and have always wondered what lies inside; surely it is unfair that I and so many others are deprived of that opportunity while it literally rots?”

He added: “I would ideally like to see the waterwheel powering a small family friendly community pub or tearoom which would generate an income and make it possible for the public to view the milling equipment which is in good condition.”

Kieran is being backed by ward councillor Ron Whittaker who has called for repairs to the deteriorating mill for more than three decades and wants it to be restored to its former glory.

He said: “I am sad that the mill still remains closed. My only wish is that the owner could see the massive advantages of transforming this lovely listed building into a tea room, cafe or craft centre.

“Visitors should have the chance to see this beautiful building which retains much of its original machinery.”

Northampton-based Heygates yesterday declined to comment.

Kieran’s Change.org petition can be found at www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/take-back-throop-mill.