Two men in hard hats and high viz jackets repairing roof under scaffolding

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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 project 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.
General view of the smithy and stable block
General view of the smithy and stable block at Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings, which is now home to the visitor centre © Historic England DP188957

Stage 2 - current work = £28.4 million

A grant of £20.7 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) - combined with funding from Historic England, Shropshire Council and the Friends of the Flaxmill Maltings - is enabling the second stage of the project to progress. Our fundraising campaign to secure the remaining funds needed to deliver this project is progressing well.

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

First milestone completed

The partnership is now concentrating on restoring the 1797 Grade I listed Main Mill and Grade II listed Kiln from 1898. Restoration of the Main Mill roof has been completed, marking a key moment in the restoration of this unique group of buildings. Around 15,000 new Welsh slates have been used on the roof, which it would have had when it was first constructed. Five new sections of cast iron gutters have been specially made at the Barr & Grosvenor Foundry in Wolverhampton to match the originals. 

Over 30,000 new handmade oversized bricks are being made to repair the building's walls.

New oversized bricks
New oversized bricks ready to be used in the Spinning Mill at Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings © Historic England DP218117

Scaffolding that has hidden the building from view for the past eleven years is starting to be removed and work continues apace. The two-hundred-year-old cast iron columns are being relieved of some of their extraordinary duties, and extra columns being added to take some of the load. Over 30,000 new handmade, oversized bricks are being used in the repair of the building's walls.

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, along with a café, to be managed by the Friends of the Flaxmill Maltings
  • Create four floors of space available for commercial use
  • Create circulation space within the Kiln for the commercial tenants and provide access for tour visitors to the restored Jubilee Tower
  • 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.

Aerial view of the Flaxmill Maltings site
Aerial view of the Flaxmill Maltings site © Historic England

Future work

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.

Artist's impression of the Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings site.
Artist's impression of the site from the air once work is complete © Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios

A full prospectus will be provided outlining the commercial opportunity in due course, but if you're interested in occupying this unique and internationally important site please contact Rebecca Reeves.

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