The Visitor Centre at Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings is to reopen for a limited 10 weeks prior to full opening.
This is the last opportunity to see works in progress on site with spaces on historic walks in the area already being snapped up. July 4 is the first opportunity to have a look at the progress that has been made.
The doors to the Visitor Centre at Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings closed in October 2020, when infection rates of the Covid-19 pandemic rose and building works started to occur outside the Main Mill walls, reducing accessibility. Now, after careful planning and collaboration between the Friends of the Flaxmill Maltings, site owners Historic England and construction company Croft Building and Conservation, the Visitor Centre will reopen to visitors on Sundays between 10am and 4pm for a limited period.
Visits are still free and do not need to be pre-booked, and the Friends will operate the site according to government guidelines, with social distancing measures in place.
As access to site is now restricted by the construction works and full site tours are no longer possible, in addition to coming to the visitor centre the Friends are offering guided historic walks in the area on alternate Sundays. The walks are already proving popular, with the first two walks already fully booked so anyone interested is encouraged to visit the Friends’ website or join their mailing list.
Peter Dunhill, board member of the Friends of the Flaxmill Maltings and guided walk leader, said: “We have been eagerly looking forward to reopening the Visitor Centre and welcoming back visitors to the site. Our historic walks are ideal for this summer and will introduce people to the stories behind familiar sites that they may have seen many times without realising their importance.”
Following the limited period of opening, from mid-September, the site will close to complete the restoration and allow staff and volunteers training. The Flaxmill Maltings site will not be accessible to the public until the new visitor experience opening in Spring 2022.
Alastair Godfrey, Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings’ project lead for Historic England said: “We have been very fortunate on this project to be able to share the developments and construction works up-close with the community and, like the Friends, we are keen to open up the gates again between July and September and allow people a view of the works for a final time, while they are still in progress. An enormous amount of work is taking place behind the scenes to create a vibrant and engaging new visitor experience and a cafe on the ground floor of the Main Mill and we look forward to revealing these fantastic new facilities, and welcoming people back once again when they open in spring next year.”
The restoration of the Grade I listed Main Mill and the Grade II Kiln at Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings is currently taking place thanks to a £20.7m grant from National Lottery players through 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, Shropshire Council and the Friends of the Flaxmill Maltings.
The revitalised site will become a new learning and enterprise quarter for Shrewsbury, with high-quality offices for the region’s growing creative industries that will help drive the town’s renaissance as a regional economic hub, as it was when Shropshire led the way in the Industrial Revolution.
The Main Mill and Kiln at Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings will open in spring 2022, with the new visitor experience and café opening on the ground floor and the top four floors available for commercial tenants.
For information about the visitor centre or to find out more about the guided walks visit www.flaxmill-maltings.co.uk