A view of the front of the repaired Conditioning House building in Bradford
The conversion to apartments of Conditioning House, Bradford, was completed in 2021 © Priestley Group
The conversion to apartments of Conditioning House, Bradford, was completed in 2021 © Priestley Group

Research and Guidance on Re-Use of Mills

Engines of Prosperity

Our Engines of Prosperity reports highlight the opportunity for vacant and under-used mills to drive growth, rebalance the country’s economy and deliver social, economic and environmental benefits for the people of the north.

The reports have been produced by Cushman & Wakefield and Lathams Architects.

2021 Update - Driving Northern growth through repurposing historic mills

Published 23 September 2021, this document re-assesses the re-use potential of under-used and vacant mills, identifies their possible contribution to rebalancing the country’s economy and improving environmental sustainability, and highlights regeneration success stories since 2017.

Engines of Prosperity, new uses for old mills

The 2016 and 2017 reports feature the following key elements:

  • A review of best practice mills conversions
  • Assessments of re-use potential of under-used/vacant mills
  • Key lessons learned and recommended next steps

The West Yorkshire study was published on 30 June 2016.

The North West study was published 20 November 2017.

Research Report: Reviewing the Condition of Historic Textile Mills in the North West

An article by Ian Miller of Salford Archaeology on surveys of textile mills in Lancashire and Greater Manchester.

Historic Textile Mills of Greater Manchester: Survey Review and Heritage Audit

In 2016 Historic England commissioned the University of Salford to review the survival of mills in Greater Manchester to update a previous survey of the late 1980s. The report addresses survival numbers, occupancy levels and condition. It reveals that 45% of historic mills in Greater Manchester have been demolished in the last 30 years. It also highlights their potential, with over a million square metres of vacant space available to accommodate the homes and businesses of the future. Just over half of surviving mills are in good order and make a positive contribution to the economy.

Lancashire Textile Mills: Stage 2 Survey

‘Buildings at Risk’ assessment survey final report was produced by Oxford Archaeology North for Historic England. It looked at the condition, occupancy and significance of 542 textile manufacturing sites in Lancashire. The survey was undertaken in 2012.

The Textile Mills of Lancashire: The Legacy

This publication represents the culmination of a decade of research on the textile mills of Lancashire by Oxford Archaeology North, born out of two phases of survey funded by Historic England designed to assess the survival of, and threats to, modern Lancashire’s historic textile mills. It highlights the historic growth of the region’s textile industry, and also the architectural form and evolution of Lancashire’s mills. It shows that mills can be readily adapted to modern use as viable spaces, allowing northern textile towns to retain their sense of place.