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Shrewsbury Flaxmill announces cafe for £28 million venue

The owners of an independent cafe have been chosen to run a new food outlet which is part of a major £28 million heritage restoration project.

Jason Grant (left), Jody-Lea Grant-DixWilliams (centre) of J Grant Catering, and Alastair Godfrey (right) Historic England, Project Lead for Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings, outside the Green Wood Cafe.
Jason Grant (left), Jody-Lea Grant-DixWilliams (centre) of J Grant Catering, and Alastair Godfrey (right) Historic England, Project Lead for Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings, outside the Green Wood Cafe.

Historic England have confirmed that the cafe, which will be part of the Flaxmill Maltings in Shrewsbury, will be run by Jason Grant and Jody-Lea Grant-DixWilliams of J Grant Catering, who already run the Green Wood Cafe in Coalbrookdale.

The Flaxmill Maltings is set to open on September 10 after a lengthy restoration project, with tickets available from August 1.

Historic England said the new venue would be called 'The Turned Wood Cafe' and will have "a strong focus on sustainability and the environment in how food, drink and supplies are sourced and delivered".

The new café will be on the ground floor of the historic Main Mill at the Flaxmill Maltings.

Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings.

Alastair Godfrey, Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings Project Lead for Historic England, said: “We are delighted to be collaborating with J Grant Catering, a local independent family-run business, for the site’s new café.

"We wanted a café partner to reflect Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings’ values, and the bold choices and forward-thinking attitude of the team at J Grant Catering are an ideal match for the site, which came into being through the innovation and pioneering spirit of its founders.

"We wanted a partner who would create a warm and welcoming café for people who live nearby and for those who will visit or work at the Flaxmill Maltings, and we are confident that Jason and Jody-Lea’s team will do just that.”

Jody-Lea Grant-DixWilliams, director at J Grant Catering said: “We are really excited to be expanding our business and opening a new café later this year in the amazing ground-floor space at Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings.

"We want the food we create to be accessible to as many people as possible whilst being kind to the environment, which is why our menu is vegetarian, with delicious plant-based and gluten free options too. And, of course we’ll have a great selection of teas and coffees.

"We can’t wait to get the doors open and welcome everyone to Shrewsbury’s newest café for a cuppa or food amongst the historic iron columns that make this iconic building famous.”

Historic England said the cafe would be run independently from the wider visitor attraction – meaning it can be open longer, and be available for the surrounding community and businesses.

The J Grant Catering team will develop a new menu specifically for the cafe.

There will also be a range of cakes and cold and hot drinks available, including coffee made using their own brand, Coffee with Soul, which is specially roasted for the site.

The name for the venue has been taken from the belief that wood turning took place in that part of the historic building.

Built in 1797, the Flaxmill Maltings had two centuries of use, first as a flaxmill, then a maltings and also as a training centre and barracks during the Second World War.

Functioning as a maltings for almost a century, the business closed in 1987 after which the kiln, and the other historic buildings, fell into decline.

The flaxmill was operational from September 1797, and the site housed many of the processes that took the raw flax and prepared it for spinning into yarn and thread.

The restoration of the Grade I listed Main Mill and the Grade II listed Kiln at the Flaxmill Maltings has been supported by a £20.7 million grant from The National Lottery Heritage Fund, combined with additional funding from the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership via its Growth Deal with Government, and from project partners Historic England and Shropshire Council.

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