30/08/2013 - Permalink

Flax Mill Maltings open weekend – 7 and 8 September 2013

Related topics: Community / Leisure, culture and heritage / Partner organisations

News from our partners – the Friends of the Flaxmill Maltings

On Saturday 7 and Sunday 8 September 2013 the Friends of the Flaxmill Maltings will open its gates for a final open weekend before the phase one redevelopment work starts this autumn. It will be a fantastic opportunity for people to come and explore the world’s first iron-framed building and discover how it will be transformed for another 100 years at the heart of the local and wider community.

Alan Mosley, Chair of the Friends of Flaxmill Maltings, said:

“Three short years ago we set out to involve the community in work towards restoring these internationally important buildings, and to provide public facilities while bringing much needed investment and regeneration into the area and Shrewsbury as a whole. We have been tremendously successful as vital partners in the Heritage Lottery Fund bid for £12.8m. We can now look forward to our ambitions being realised and hope that large numbers will come to learn, enjoy and celebrate the success over the last open weekend before the renovation starts.”

We will be open from 10am – 4pm each day, and there will be activities for the whole community to enjoy including:

  • Guided tours telling the story of the Flax Mill Maltings and the people who built it and worked there.
  • Live demonstrations of flax processing, weaving and spinning.
  • Heritage Craft demonstrations include blacksmithing.
  • A huge array of family activities including expanding our Flax Fields village.
  • Live music from local bands and musicians.
  • A photography exhibition of the Flax Mill Maltings.
  • southSILO – The transformation of the building into an immersive light and performance installation plus visits to the top for tremendous views over Shropshire.
  • Meet the project team and discover the plans for the phase 1 redevelopment.

Lisa Cowley, Friends Manager, said:

“This is such an exciting time for the Friends. We have been committed to bringing the Flax Mill Maltings back to life at the centre of the community and this event really showcases that our vision is being achieved. Since I joined the Friends in September last year I have been amazed by their dedicationed and what they have achieved in such a short space of time. This weekend is an opportunity for everyone to explore the Flax Mill Maltings and discover more about the amazing work of the Friends.”

Local food and drink will be for sale onsite throughout the weekend and we have indoor and outside picnic space, so come along for the whole day and enjoy exploring this amazing World First!

There will be no entry charge, but all donations received wille support the activities of the Friends of the Flaxmill Maltings.

Further information

For further information about Flax Mill Maltings Open Weekend or to arrange photo calls, interviews or press attendance at the event contact:

Lisa Cowley, Friends Manager: lisa@flaxmill-maltings.co.uk, 01743 360213 / 07794 739042

About the Friends of the Flaxmill Maltings

The Friends of Flaxmill Maltings (Friends) were formed in August 2010 in response to the public consultation and growing interest and enthusiasm for the development of the Flax Mill Maltings amongst the community.

Our Vision is that: The Flaxmill Maltings is brought back to life at the heart of the community.

The Flaxmill Maltings is a unique and internationally important site, containing seven listed buildings including the first cast-iron framed building in the world along with the 3rd and 8th.

Located in the heart of one of Shropshire’s most deprived communities, in 1985 the buildings became derelict and this important industrial heritage is ‘at risk’. The Friends have made these important historic buildings accessible so that organisations, groups and individuals can explore, learn, participate in and enjoy the unique and varied heritage. We run tours of the site and special interest events and activities including our annual open weekends in May and September each year, which attract up to 2,500 visitors.

Our thriving Arts Group is engaged in a range of community orientated initiatives including working with local schools and colleges. There has always been a tremendous enthusiasm to explore and learn more about the Flax Mill Maltings history.

Our Archives and Research group explore the lives of those people who worked or were connected with the Flaxmill Maltings. Initial school visits began in 2010 as a result of pupils’ curiosity about the scaffold covered main mill building.

Our education team are developing opportunities for formal and informal learning for all age ranges.The Friends have also established a thriving Youth Activities Centre, Flaxivity, as a ‘meanwhile’ use in an adjacent redundant business unit. This provides up to 300 young people a week the opportunity to engage in range of activities including the use of our unique indoor ramp facility.

The Friends are working in partnership with English Heritage and Shropshire Council to find a sustainable solution for the buildings. A master plan has been designed and a phase 1 project has been developed to conserve, and bring back into use, three of the most important historic buildings, improving access and offering activities so a broad range of people can explore, learn, participate and enjoy its unique and varied heritage. Once the site becomes operational the Friends will manage the public and community areas within the site and the associated projects, activities and funding.

We have received a confirmed grant of £12.8m from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for the phase 1 project.It will be the catalyst for the area’s wider regeneration and the site will once again become a vitally important local, regional and national landmark.