Shrewsbury Flax Mill: Funding for offices and restoration

Artist's impression of the Ditherington Flax Mill Shropshire Council said developing Flax Mill Maltings will create new jobs

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The world's first iron-framed building will undergo redevelopment after being granted £12.8m in funding.

The Flax Mill Maltings in Shrewsbury will be the centre of a three-year regeneration that Shropshire Council hopes will create new jobs.

With a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the project will adapt a number of Grade I listed buildings, including a mill built in 1797, a kiln, an office and stables.

These will become offices.

The site in Ditherington, north of Shrewsbury town centre, contains seven listed buildings including the world's first iron-framed building, according to English Heritage.

The Flax Mill was operational from 1797 until 1897, and was then turned into a maltings until its closure in 1987.

The space is now being marketed to businesses with facilities to include broadband and free parking.

'Much needed'
Mock-up of developed office space Attracting business tenants is key to the redevelopment plan

Long-term plans include the creation of 120 homes on surrounding land, but this is not included in this element of the project.

An exhibition space outlining the mill's history will also be included.

Alan Mosley, chairman of the Friends of the Flaxmill Maltings, called the lottery grant "fabulous news".

He said: "Apart from protecting and opening up our internationally-important heritage to the public, the grant will bring tremendous - and much needed - investment, jobs, services, community facilities and hence, regeneration, to the area."

Reyahn King, from the Heritage Lottery Fund, said the funding would "celebrate and reuse our industrial past".

English Heritage took over the mill in 2005 and created its redevelopment plan with Shropshire Council, the Friends of the Flaxmill Maltings and the Homes and Communities Agency.

In 2012, it was given more than £465,000 by the Heritage Lottery Fund to refine its development proposal.

Work is set to begin on the site in October 2013 and is due to be completed in early 2016.

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