Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings, Shropshire. View of the main mill which is the first iron framed building in the world and dubbed the 'father of all skyscrapers' © Historic England

Construction Work at Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings Begins

14 June 2017

Please note, this release was written before Covid-19. The opening date for Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings is now 2022.

Construction work at Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings Begins thanks to Heritage Lottery Fund investment.

Funding of £20.7m from The National Lottery is enabling construction work to start on the iconic Main Mill and Kiln at the Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings. This is Stage two in the regeneration of the site.

The work will restore the Grade I listed Main Mill – the first cast-iron framed building in the world and forerunner to the modern skyscraper, and the Grade II listed Kiln along with landscaping and a new car park. When complete there will be visitor interpretation, activity space and a café on the ground floor which will be managed by the Friends of the Flaxmill Maltings. The upper four floors of the Mill will provide commercial office space. A programme of activities will be available during construction with training opportunities and chances for the local community to get involved.

Work will start on 19 June 2017, and will be carried out by Croft Building and Conservation Ltd. They are responsible for the structural repairs to the Main Mill and reintroducing windows that were closed during the Maltings phase. This will flood the building with natural light. The works should be complete by the end of 2018 when work will start to repair the Kiln, fit out the buildings and complete all associated landscaping work and car park.

The Flax Mill was built in 1797 and was the largest employer in Shrewsbury. The flax business declined in the 1870s and the mill closed in 1886. The site was converted into a maltings in 1897-8, when the Kiln was added. After being used as a temporary barracks during World War Two, the site resumed as a maltings until its closure in 1987. These works will transform and open the site back up for local people, visitors and local businesses.

Like everyone involved in the project to bring Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings back into productive, public use, I am delighted to confirm that our contractors – Croft – are on site and the work which will repair the Main Mill and Kiln is underway.

All those people who care about the future of the world’s first cast-iron framed building know just how long a journey it has been to get to this stage so, before we push on ahead once more, it is good to pause and note what a great success this is.

I am confident that the partnership between Historic England, Shropshire Council and the Friends and the support of the every one of the National Lottery ticket buyers will assure this great site’s long and beneficial future.

Chris Smith, Project Director
Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings, Historic England

It’s great news that a contractor has been appointed and is about to start work to restore the impressive and internationally important Grade I Flax Mill and Grade II listed Kiln.

Bringing these two buildings back to life has been the greatest challenge for the partners, but the impact they will have on completion should not be underestimated. The site will be transformed and this stage of works will be the important catalyst for further development across the whole of the wider masterplan site.

We are really grateful to the Heritage Lottery Fund for the significant funds required to progress the works.

Councillor Nic Laurens, Portfolio Holder for Economic Growth
Shropshire Council

After many years of hard work we are absolutely delighted that this vital project is finally going ahead.  We are also very proud that our efforts, alongside Historic England and Shropshire Council, have finally been rewarded.  The interest and enthusiasm of local people has clearly been recognised.

The project will protect and promote our internationally important heritage while bring large scale regeneration to the area and further afield.

Alan Mosley
Chair of the Friends of the Flaxmill Maltings

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