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Work to start on £20 million Shrewsbury Flaxmill restoration

By Dominic Robertson | Shrewsbury | News | Published:

Work will finally start on the £20.7 million restoration of one of the county's most important historic buildings.

The Flaxmill in Shrewsbury

Historic England has confirmed that the long awaited plan to regenerate Shrewsbury's Flaxmill Maltings will begin on Monday.

The project will turn part of the historic building, dubbed 'the world's first skyscraper', into four floors of commercial space, with a cafe, and an "interpretation and learning space".

Historic England has revealed that the work, which is part of stage two of the Ditherington site's regeneration, will start with the Main Mill, before moving onto the Kiln, landscaping and the car park.

The announcement was today been welcomed by local activists who have worked for years towards the restoration of the site, which dates back to 1797.

Alan Mosley, chairman of the Friends of the Flaxmill Maltings said: “After many years of hard work we are absolutely delighted that this vital project is finally going ahead. We are also very proud that our efforts, alongside Historic England and Shropshire Council, have finally been rewarded. The interest and enthusiasm of local people has clearly been recognised.

"The project will protect and promote our internationally important heritage while bringing large scale regeneration to the area and further afield."

Chris Smith, the Flaxmill Maltings project director for Historic England said: "Like everyone involved in the project to bring Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings back into productive, public use, I am delighted to confirm that our contractors Croft are on site and the work which will repair the Main Mill and Kiln is underway.

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"All those people who care about the future of the world’s first cast-iron framed building know just how long a journey it has been to get to this stage so, before we push on ahead once more, it is good to pause and note what a great success this is. I am confident that the partnership between Historic England, Shropshire Council and the friends and the support of the every one of the National Lottery ticket buyers will assure this great site’s long and beneficial future."

The work on the Main Mill is expected to be complete by the end of 2018.

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