Ditherington Flax Mill Maltings, Historic Shropshire Building, Ditherington Flax Mill Maltings Shropshire, Architecture

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Ditherington Flax Mill Maltings, UK : Historic Shropshire Building

Ditherington Flax Mill Maltings Building, western England – design by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios

11 May 2012

Ditherington Flax Mill Maltings Building

Ditherington Flax Mill Maltings in Shrewsbury wins Heritage Lottery Fund support

An outstanding group of buildings in Shropshire has won development funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for the regeneration of a former flax mill and maltings. FCBStudios have been acting as strategic advisors and architects to English Heritage and Shropshire Council since 2003 and have advised them through all stages of the project to date. In November 2010 we gained full planning and listed building consent for a £20m phase of works which includes a heritage-led mixed-use development with the potential to create 120 new homes on the site. The total development value is estimated at £52m.

Ditherington Flax Mill Maltings Shropshire Ditherington Flax Mill Maltings Building
images from Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios

The HLF has now awarded Shropshire Council a ‘first round pass’ which provides funding of £465,300. This grant is to be used to develop more detailed business plans for the regeneration of the Flax Mill Maltings which includes 8 Listed Buildings, 4 at Grade I. A second round bid will be submitted by the council to HLF within the next 18 months in the hope of securing a major grant of £11,686,000 which would enable the conservation and redevelopment of Shrewsbury’s unique and historic mill complex.

The aim of the project is to work with the local community and others to develop a vibrant centre for learning, working, social enterprise and leisure. A full HLF grant would allow the main historic buildings on site to be repaired and brought back into use -including the Main Mill, the Kiln, the Dye and Stove House and the Office and Stables. Proposals by FCBStudios are designed to provide an exemplar of how modern technology and innovation can be applied to heritage buildings, complementing their historic technology and preserving their special character.

Geoff Rich, lead architect from Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, said “The challenge of bringing Ditherington Flax Mill Maltings into the twenty first century is both exciting and demanding. The pioneering technology within historic iron framed buildings presents unique challenges in conservation, repair and re-use. However we’re convinced that these amazing historic buildings can be the centrepiece of a truly inspirational new place which will boost the regional economy and make a real difference to the lives of local people.”

The site is already extremely popular with schools and the public who have visited many of the buildings during Heritage Open Days.

Built on the northern edge of Shrewsbury, the Ditherington Flax Mill Maltings site includes many buildings of historic interest, including the internationally-important Main Mill. Built in 1797 this is the oldest surviving cast-iron framed building in the world and is the forerunner of the modern skyscraper. Until this time factories and mills were frequently destroyed by fire so the development of cast iron frames was a huge factor in putting Britain way ahead in the Industrial Revolution.

Reyahn King, Head of HLF West Midlands, said: “Ditherington Flax Mill is of international importance, reflecting a time when Britain led the way in engineering innovation. As an early prototype for contemporary architecture, the mill was a forerunner of the skyscrapers that are now such a familiar backdrop to city life. The Heritage Lottery Fund is pleased to be giving its initial support for phase one of Shropshire Council’s wider plans which have the potential to transform the site into a centre for learning, leisure and social enterprise.”

Ditherington Flax Mill Maltings images / information from Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios

30 Jan 2012

Ditherington Flax Mill Maltings Shropshire

Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios launches website for Heritage Lottery Fund transformational grant award of £12m

A major new funding bid for the repair and redevelopment of Ditherington Flax Mill Maltings has been submitted to the Heritage Lottery Fund by Shropshire Council and English Heritage.

The aim of the HLF project is to work with the local community and others to develop a vibrant centre for learning, working, social enterprise, and leisure. It’s vital to make the heritage of the site accessible to local, national and international audiences so that they might explore, learn and get involved in its unique and diverse histories.

Ditherington Flax Mill Maltings 
image from Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios

The Friends of the Flax Mill Maltings continue to play a pivotal role in developing the project. From a small group of enthusiasts they have now grown to over 500 members. The first stage approval from HLF will allow them to build their capacity and expand their volunteering. The group has great potential to manage specific buildings and to open up areas of the site to the public.

A successful Heritage Lottery Bid will restore this group of internationally important buildings and will revitalise the local and regional economies. It will also allow a huge range of groups, from international engineers to local school children, to increase their knowledge and understanding of the unique and varied heritage of the Flax Mill Maltings.

By bringing this extraordinary site back to life, a successful HLF bid will reconnect the people who worked here and lived close by with their history and will provide public access to the important historic buildings, including the oldest cast-iron framed building in the world. A decision is expected in April 2012.

Ditherington Flax Mill Maltings Shropshire Building Historic Shropshire Building
images from Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios

http://www.ditheringtonhlf.info/

Geoff Rich, Partner at Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios said: “Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios have worked on the scheme for 8 years so it’s great to see it competing again for a transformational grant award”

The Project

Ditherington Flax Mill Maltings in Shrewsbury is a large and complex site in need of serious repair and reinvention. The mill buildings have been a huge feature on the local landscape for over 200 years but, more recently; these empty structures communicate an air of abandonment and decay.

Four buildings have been selected for the first phase of the development and a substantial Heritage Lottery Fund application has recently been submitted to secure part of the funding needed to bring them into a third century of productive use.

This first phase will carefully conserve and reuse some of the key historic buildings which include the Main Mill from 1797, the Kiln from the maltings phase in 1898, the Dye and Stove House and the Office and Stables along with works to ensure visual and physical access. This restoration will provide an ‘exemplar’ in how modern technology and innovation can be applied to ensure a sustainable future for these important historic buildings.

Once the Main Mill and associated buildings are repaired and brought back into use the remainder of the historic buildings on site will be more attractive to potential users and investors. The complete restoration of the historic site will then stimulate the final phase of development of the full site which will include commercial and residential buildings. This in turn will significantly boost the local and regional economies and will make a real difference to the lives of local people, particularly on the northern side of the city.

Ditherington Flax Mill Maltings Shropshire – Further Information

Client: English Heritage

Ditherington Flax Mill Maltings has thousands of local and international supporters, not least because it includes the world’s first iron framed structure without which the famous New York skyscraper would never have been possible.

With the decline of first the textile and second the maltings trade, this internationally important set of mill buildings has been empty for over 20 years. Today the site is in need of serious repair to make the many listed buildings it contains fit for a new generation of uses.

Built on the northern edge of Shrewsbury from 1797, the site includes many buildings of interest, including the 1st, 3rd and 8th oldest surviving cast-iron framed buildings in the world. Until this time factories and mills were frequently destroyed by fire so the development of cast iron frames was a huge factor in putting Britain way ahead in the industrial revolution.

The buildings have supported 100 years of flax production and 100 years of barley malting. Today the whole site is in need of a new sense of purpose and identity to ensure its survival and productive use for the next 100 years and beyond. English Heritage acquired the derelict buildings in 2005, and has since been working with a steering group made up of Shropshire Council, the Homes and Communities Agency and the Friends of the Flax Mill Maltings to find a new use for the site. The goal is to create a long-term future for the historic buildings and for the community of which they have so long been a part.

For more information on the history of the buildings and the local area go to: http://www.flaxmill-maltings.co.uk/resources/brief-history or http://www.shropshirehistory.org.uk

Ditherington Flax Mill Maltings images / information from Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios

Feilden Clegg Bradley

Location: Spring Gardens, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, SY1 2HX

Listed: Grade 1 in 1953

Ditherington Flax Mill Maltings – external link to Ditherington Flax Mill Maltings website


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