Work to Begin at Flaxmill Maltings

- European funding enables Stage I of project to begin -

Contractors will be on site at Shrewsbury Flax Mill Maltings from September to begin Stage one of the project to regenerate the site.

Stage one will comprise of:

Ø      The conversion of the office and stables for use by the Friends of the Flax Mills Maltings as a visitor and reception centre

Ø      The demolition of the 1950’s silo providing further external space for cultural, interpretation and public use

 

Work on the demolition of the silo will start within the next month and is due to be completed by the end of January 2015. Conversion of the office and stables are due for completion by autumn 2015.

A funding package of £2.6m has been awarded to Stage one of the Shrewsbury Flax Mill Maltings project to kick start regeneration. The Department for Communities and Local Government have awarded funding through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) of the maximum amount of funding requested by English Heritage - £1,169,226. English Heritage will provide the balance of the funds.

English Heritage announced they were taking the lead in the regeneration of Shrewsbury’s Flax Mill Maltings in March 2014. They appointed one of their senior managers, Tim Johnston, Planning and Conservation Director for the West Midlands, to run the project for the first 12 months. He is devoting his time to progressing the first stage of the project and creating a long-term future for the Flax Mill Maltings.

The Flax Mill is the world’s first cast-iron framed building and is the forerunner of the modern skyscraper.

Norman Price, Deputy Chair of the West Midlands ERDF Local Management Committee said: “The redevelopment and restoration of the flax mill will bring twin benefits to Shrewsbury. For local businesses, new office space will be on offer and the local area will also see a cultural boost from the development of the heritage asset. In the longer term there are plans to create a visitor centre telling the story of the mill. History and future economic growth can coexist !

This is a beneficial and imaginative development in the local area that has been a long time in the planning. I am delighted that we are able to provide ERDF funding and to finally see this become a reality.”

Tim Johnston, Project Director, Shrewsbury Flax Mill Maltings, English Heritage said: “We are delighted the European Regional Development Fund has committed £1,169,226 to this project. Shrewsbury’s Flax Mill Maltings is the most important industrial building on English Heritage’s Heritage at Risk Register and one of English Heritage’s top priorities. We are committed to working closely with our partners, the Friends of the Flax Mill Maltings and Shropshire Council to bring this internationally important complex of buildings back to life and stimulating the wider regeneration of the area.”

Alan Mosley, Chairman of the Friends of the Flaxmill Maltings, said: “This is the tremendous news we have been looking forward to for some time now. We are delighted that we will have a visitor and community centre for interpretation, exhibitions, learning, research and reception with new areas of multi-use open space. There is great energy and activity in the project and we are confident that this stage will kick-start the next vital regeneration stage and we know that all partners are working hard towards that objective.“

Cllr. Mal Price, Shropshire Council's Cabinet member for Housing and Planning, said:Shropshire Council recognises the importance of this first stage of works on the Flax Mill Maltings site and are delighted that the European Regional Development funds have been secured. The regeneration of this internationally important site is a priority for Shropshire and we have continued to provide officer time and support to help make this possible. This first stage will certainly help unlock future stages of the site’s development.”

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Pete White Pete White

Love Shrewsbury editor and chief developer at The Web Orchard, find out more on petejwhite.com

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