Nestled in a Grade II listed Georgian mill from 1823, Islington Mill’s revival artfully merges vintage charm with contemporary finesse, seamlessly harmonising with its surroundings. We were tasked with breathing life into its history.
This year-long endeavour – the renaissance of Islington Mill – encapsulates meticulous material considerations, regulatory compliance, conservation ethos, and sustainability.
The restoration yielded remarkable achievements:
• Roof revitalisation, inclusive of expansive skylight integration.
• Restoration of original exterior features, including a cobbled courtyard, and modernised entrances.
• Creation of universally accessible studios, facilitated by lifts and new staircases.
• Conception of world-class ‘live work’ artist residency spaces, bridging regional gaps.
• Thorough interior enhancements, encompassing acoustic amelioration, window refurbishment, and more.
• Establishment of infrastructure for a fifth-floor open studio & exhibition area.
• Generation of significant social value, notably benefiting St. Philips Primary School, Salford.
• Funding: The project’s realisation was made possible by funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Arts Council England ACE, and Salford City Council. Additionally, the ‘new’ Islington Mill secured a £3.3 million grant from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
The restoration of this beautiful Grade II listed buildings was of course subject to much stringent planning controls. With this comes time and programme implications as well as any works carried out requiring listed building consent.
It was border line condemned in many parts, only after undergoing a lot of labour-intensive specialist structural and restoration work sourcing some of the industry’s finest local subcontractors, we can see the love, light and function return.
Only certain traditional techniques could be used to resort elements of work to their former glory, it was challenging to find suitably qualified and experienced subcontractors. As expected, when working in a populated residential environment the project faced several unique challenges that influenced the scheme delivery.
The initial stages were of the utmost importance to identify how the works were to be delivered in a timely and cost-effective manner without impacting surrounding residents. Logistics and deliveries had to be painstakingly planned and managed with a combination of offsite and onsite fabrication needed to achieve desired results.
This process needed to be carefully collaborated between all parties to ensure there was minimal disruption to both the operations of the Artist residents, while meeting the needs of the stake holders.
Impact and Result
The project’s triumph extends beyond structural revival. Islington Mill has been resurrected as a vibrant community nucleus, with over 100 residents now calling it home. From the brink of obscurity, the mill now stands as a testament to heritage preservation and community rejuvenation, affirming its role as a cherished local landmark.