Page last updated at 16:08 GMT, Tuesday, 8 September 2009 17:08 UK

Designs on historic mill's future

Flax Mill in Shrewsbury
The design team will come up with a plan for the Flax Mill over the next year

A design team has been chosen to find a use for a historic Shropshire mill considered a forerunner to skyscrapers.

Built in 1797, the Flax Mill is the world's first iron-framed building and has been derelict for 20 years.

English Heritage bought it in 2005 and has announced that architects Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios (FCBS) will lead a team studying the future of the site.

Geoff Rich, from FCBS, said the mill had immense historic significance and "amazing potential for the future".

'New life'

The Ditherington Flax Mill was used to process flax for 100 years before being converted into a maltings.

A century later, in 1987, it closed and has been empty ever since.

According to English Heritage, the architects Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios were selected to work on the future of the mill from a panel of leading conservation consultants.

We are very pleased that we are now in a position to move forward on the project with a design team of such quality
Chris Smith from English Heritage

Chris Smith, from English Heritage, said the team will spend the next year developing its plans.

He said: "We are very pleased that we are now in a position to move forward on the project with a design team of such quality."

He added: "This new life will also provide the catalyst to the wider regeneration of the area."

The mill was built around an iron frame in a technique adapted in the rebuilding of Chicago in the late 19th Century and for skyscrapers such as New York's Empire State Building.



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SEE ALSO
Historic Ditherington Flax Mill
08 Sep 09 |  History
Forerunner of skyscraper at risk
24 Jul 07 |  Shropshire

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