Two men in hard hats and high viz jackets repairing roof under scaffolding
Workers replacing the Main Mill roof in 2017 © Historic England Archive, Steven Baker
Workers replacing the Main Mill roof in 2017 © Historic England Archive, Steven Baker

Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings Restoration Work

Find out what's been achieved so far on the Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings project, and what's still to come.

Stage 1

Historic England took leadership of the Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings restoration in March 2014. The Department for Communities and Local Government awarded £1,169,000 of funding through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) towards a £2.5 million project to kick-start regeneration. Historic England provided the balance of the funds. This project was completed in November 2015.

The results of this first stage were:

  • The Office and Stables have been converted for use by the Friends of the Flaxmill Maltings as an interactive visitor centre and education facility
  • The 1950's grain silo has been demolished, providing further external space for cultural, interpretation and public use. This added to work previously carried out by Shropshire Council to clear derelict modern buildings from the site.

Stage 2 - current work = £28.4 million

A grant of £20.7 million from The National Lottery Heritage Fund – combined with funding from Historic England, Shropshire Council and the Friends of the Flaxmill Maltings as well as funding from the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership via its Growth Deal with Government, and donations from charitable trusts, foundations, individuals and local companies – is enabling the second stage of the project to progress.

Historic England is also responsible for a fundraising campaign to secure the remaining funds needed to deliver this project and this is progressing well.

For further information about becoming a supporter, please see our fundraising page.

Milestones reached

The partnership is now concentrating on restoring the 1797 Grade I listed Main Mill and 1898 Grade II listed Kiln from 1898 and work is forging ahead.

Restoration of the Main Mill roof has been completed, using around 15,000 new Welsh slates, which it would have had when it was first constructed. Five new sections of cast iron gutters were specially made at the Barr and Grosvenor Foundry in Wolverhampton to match the originals. 

Over 40,000 new handmade oversized 'great' bricks have been made to repair the walls and to re-open the windows.

Current works

Scaffolding that hid the Main Mill from view for 11 years is now largely removed. As work continues on the Main Mill’s Engine House, the Jubilee Tower and the Kiln, it will not be long before the scaffolding is permanently gone.

The 200-year-old cast iron columns in the Main Mill are being relieved of some of their extraordinary duties, and extra columns being added to take some of the load. The Jubilee Tower is being re-clad and the cast iron coronet has recently been put back in place at the very top of the tower having been restored. The Kiln is being given a new roof and the interior converted, in preparation for its new role as main entrance for future tenants of the upper four floors of the Main Mill.

When complete this second stage of the project will:

  • Remove the Main Mill from the Heritage at Risk Register
  • Create interpretation and learning space on the ground floor, to be managed by the Friends of the Flaxmill Maltings
  • Create a café on the ground floor, to be open to members of the public
  • Create four floors of space available for commercial use
  • Create circulation space within the Kiln for commercial tenants
  • Provide a landscaped car park with improved accessibility across the site

Historic England achieved full planning permission and listed building consent for the proposed designs in November 2016 and work began on site in June 2017. The Stage 2 project is due to complete in 2021.

Future plans

Historic England is also reviewing the current masterplan for the wider Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings site. This includes brownfield land for residential dwellings, the potential conversion of other historic buildings and future commercial opportunities.

From autumn 2020, we'll be inviting expressions of interest for the rental of space in the upper four floors of the Main Mill when it opens in autumn 2021.

Later this year we will also be inviting businesses to tender for the new café which will be open to all members of the public.

If you're interested in occupying this unique and internationally important site as a tenant and would like to receive the prospectus outlining the opportunities when it's available in autumn 2020, or if you're interested in the café opportunity, please get in touch.

Contact Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings project team

Logo on dark background. Text reads: Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings

Supported by

Historic England
Friends of the Flaxmill Maltings
Shropshire Council
European Union
National Lottery Heritage Fund
The Marches
Midlands Engine
Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation logo
Logo text: Foyle Foundation
Company crest for the Ironmongers' Company. Moto reads: ASSHER DURE
Logo text: The Pilgrim Trust
Text reads: The Walker Trust
Logo for William A Cadbury Charitable Trust
Logo text reads: The Wolfson Foundation
Logo text reads: Worshipful Company of Builders' Merchants. Crest moto reads: STAT FORTUNA DOMUS
Worshipful Company of Engineers crest. Moto reads: CERTARE INGENIO


Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings project team

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