First phase of work to start at Shrewsbury's historic Flax Mill

Work on one of Shropshire's most iconic buildings will begin this month after the project was awarded millions of pounds in funding.

 The Flax Mill in Shrewsbury
The Flax Mill in Shrewsbury

Contractors will be on site at Shrewsbury Flax Mill Maltings by the end of the month to begin stage one of the project to regenerate the site.

The work will involve the conversion of the office and stables for use by the Friends of the Flax Mill Maltings as a visitor and reception centre and the demolition of the 1950s silo providing a public open space.

The demolition of the silo is due to be completed by the end of January 2015. Conversion of the office and stables should be completed 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 has awarded funding through the European Regional Development Fund of the maximum amount of funding requested by English Heritage, of £1.17 million. English Heritage will provide the balance of the funds. English Heritage announced it was taking the lead in the regeneration of the maltings in March 2014.

It appointed one of its senior managers, Tim Johnston, planning and conservation director for the West Midlands, to run the project for the first 12 months.

Mr Johnston said today: "We are delighted the European Regional Development Fund has committed more than £1 million 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."

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

Alan Mosley, chairman of the Friends of the Flax Mill Maltings, said: "This is the tremendous news we have been looking forward to.

"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."

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