Heritage Minister Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay today visited Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings to celebrate the official opening of the newly restored 225-year-old mill.
Lord Parkinson, minister for Arts and Heritage, met with partners, funders and local people who have worked together to bring the historic building back to life, including representatives from Historic England, Shropshire Council and the National Lottery Heritage Fund.
Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings in Spring Gardens, Shrewsbury, opened to the public in September for the first time in 35-years, following a £28 million, eight-year restoration programme.
£20.7 million of funding for restoration of the Main Mill and Kiln has come from National Lottery players through The National Lottery Heritage Fund. The remaining funding for the restoration of the site has come from Historic England, Shropshire Council, philanthropic donations and additional funding from the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership via its Growth Deal with Government.
The restoration of Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings highlights the benefits that heritage brings to communities. It has already contributed to the local economy by creating jobs and facilities for local people. It recently hosted a jam-packed programme of activity for October half term, which welcomed more than 1,300 visitors through the door.
Heritage Minister Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay said: “With its pioneering iron frame, Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings is a piece of Britain’s industrial past which truly changed the world – paving the way for skyscrapers and soaring skylines across the globe. I am delighted to come and see how it has been restored so that it can be enjoyed by the public and inspire and educate people for generations to come.”
Duncan Wilson, Chief Executive, Historic England, said: “I am delighted to welcome Lord Parkinson to Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings to see the fantastic transformation, which we are now sharing with visitors. Managing the restoration of Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings has been challenging and rewarding in equal measure. This is a remarkable and complex site which has involved a vast team of specialists, partners, funders and volunteers to get it back up and running. I am proud that Historic England has led this ambitious and challenging project to successful delivery.”
Eilish McGuinness, Chief Executive of The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “I’m delighted to be at Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings as we celebrate its official opening. It’s fantastic to be able to welcome Lord Parkinson to the restored site – the result of a collaborative partnership between The National Lottery Heritage Fund, Historic England, Shropshire Council and Friends of Flaxmill Maltings.
“The transformation is a testament to the tenacity of many people, tirelessly working over many years to preserve this unique part of our industrial revolution heritage, and I am thrilled that we were able to join other funding partners and invest over £20m to support this sustainable project. Thanks to National Lottery players, the pioneering Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings will continue to inspire generations to come.”