Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings is gearing up for its grand opening later this year by welcoming the new volunteers who will help run it.
The historic building, which is located just outside Shrewsbury town centre, has been undergoing a major restoration since 2017 led by site owners, Historic England, and will feature a new visitor attraction and café on the ground floor and four floors of office space.
The Friends of the Flaxmill Maltings will be providing the volunteers needed to staff to visitor attraction once it opens. The group has teamed up with the Shropshire Infrastructure Partnership (SIP) team to expand the number of volunteers that will support its operations.
The first group of new volunteers came together on-site on Sunday 10 April to start their induction and training.
Allison Richardson, SIP Team Manager, said: “We work hard to match enthusiastic local people who want to volunteer with organisations that really benefit from their support, and we’re delighted to be able to do that for the Flaxmill Maltings as they get ready to open their doors to the public in a few months’ time.
“The new volunteers will play key roles in different areas including customer-facing and behind the scenes, ensuring people in Shrewsbury and beyond get the chance to visit and enjoy this historic site.”
The Flaxmill Maltings is home to eight listed buildings, including the five-storey saw-tooth roofed Main Mill which was built in 1797, is the world’s first cast-iron framed building and known as ‘the grandparent of the skyscraper’.
The restoration of the Grade I listed Main Mill and the Grade II listed Kiln, is supported by a £20.7 million grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.
Alastair Godfrey, Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings Project Lead, Historic England said: “Partnerships have been crucial to the success of the regeneration of Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings and this new partnership with the Shropshire Infrastructure Partnership will be of enormous importance to the site too.
“It is heart-warming to see how local volunteers have responded to this call to action and are willing to offer their support and valuable time to a site which is not just of local importance, but of international significance too.”
Alan Mosley, Chair of the Friends of the Flaxmill Maltings, added: “The Flaxmill Maltings played an important role in the local community in the past and is once again looking for local enthusiastic people to help build a successful and sustainable future.
“The new volunteers are joining an existing friendly team of people who share a passion for the wonderful site and its stories.
“It has been a great opportunity to team up with SIP and utilise their expertise so we can find people who will build on and share their knowledge, as well as learn new skills, as part of their role.”