Heritage Minister to visit Shrewbury Flaxmill Maltings - Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings
A brick built mill building.
Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings with all external scaffolding removed, August 2022. © Historic England

Heritage Minister to visit Shrewbury Flaxmill Maltings

18 November 2022

Heritage Minister Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay will visit Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings to celebrate the official opening of the newly restored 225-year-old mill, on Friday, 18 November 2022.

Lord Parkinson, minister for Arts and Heritage, will meet partners, funders and local people who have worked together to bring the historic building back to life, including representatives from Historic England, Shropshire Council and the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings in Spring Gardens, Shrewsbury, opened to the public in September for the first time in 35-years, following a £28 million, eight-year restoration programme.

A five storey brick mill building.
A view of the restored Main Mill and Kiln at Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings.

£20.7 million of funding for restoration of the Main Mill and Kiln has come from National Lottery players through The National Lottery Heritage Fund. The remaining funding for the restoration of the site has come from Historic England, Shropshire Council, philanthropic donations and additional funding from the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership via its Growth Deal with Government. 

I’m delighted to be at Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings as we celebrate its official opening. It’s fantastic to be able to welcome Lord Parkinson to the restored site – the result of a collaborative partnership between The National Lottery Heritage Fund, Historic England, Shropshire Council and Friends of Flaxmill Maltings.

The transformation is a testament to the tenacity of many people, tirelessly working over many years to preserve this unique part of our industrial revolution heritage, and I am thrilled that we were able to join other funding partners and invest over £20m to support this sustainable project.

Thanks to National Lottery players, the pioneering Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings will continue to inspire generations to come.

Eilish McGuinness, Chief Executive
The National Lottery Heritage Fund

The restoration of Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings highlights the benefits that heritage brings to communities. It has already contributed to the local economy by creating jobs and facilities for local people.  It recently hosted a jam-packed programme of activity for October half term, which welcomed more than 1,300 visitors through the door.

With its pioneering iron frame, Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings is a piece of Britain’s industrial past which truly changed the world – paving the way for skyscrapers and soaring skylines across the globe.

I am delighted to come and see how it has been restored so that it can be enjoyed by the public and inspire and educate people for generations to come.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Heritage Minister

I am delighted to welcome Lord Parkinson to Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings to see the fantastic transformation that has taken place, which we are now sharing with visitors.

Managing the restoration of Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings has been challenging and rewarding in equal measure. This is a remarkable and complex site which has involved a vast team of specialists, partners, funders and volunteers to get it back up and running.

I am proud that Historic England has led this ambitious and challenging project to successful delivery.

Duncan Wilson, Chief Executive,
Historic England
People in an exhibition.
Interior of the new exhibition “The Mill” at Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings, which opened to the public on Saturday 10 September 2022 © Historic England

The History of Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings

Known as the ‘grandparent of skyscrapers’, the Main Mill structure paved the way for modern-day buildings such as London’s Shard, New York’s Empire State Building and Dubai’s Burj Khalifa. 

Following the site’s beginnings as a flax mill and major local employer for the area from 1797-1886, it was repurposed into a modern maltings, which operated from 1897 to 1987, converting grain into malt for brewing, whisky-making and vinegar production. The site was also used as a temporary army barracks during the Second World War.

Four of the eight listed buildings that make up the site – the Smithy, Stables, Main Mill and Kiln – have now been sustainably restored by site owners Historic England with the help of architects Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios. The four remaining listed buildings – the Cross Mill, the Dye House, Apprentice House and the Warehouse – still need funding to bring them back to life.

Read more about the history of Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings

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