Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings take work placements online

May 17, 2021
  • A total of 60 work placements lasting a minimum of five days to be delivered by the end of March 2024. These will provide opportunities for those looking to pursue a career in heritage and related sectors to gain valuable skills for the workplace
  • Historic England’s Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings Team have adapted to the challenge of the Covid-19 pandemic and taken the work placements online temporarily
  • Marches Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), via its Growth Deal with Government, have provided £2m of funding to the Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings project
  • The funded works will support sustainable transport plans and enable better and safer access to the site for pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles when open

This spring, online work placements at Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings began. This marked a new way of delivering learning opportunities linked to the wider regeneration of the Flaxmill Maltings.

Historic England’s Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings team, with agreement from the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), have adapted existing methods of working to find an innovative way to temporarily deliver work placements online as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. This new programme will allow participants to gain knowledge of working in the heritage sector, while also developing the soft skills expected from a traditional work placement including team-working with colleagues and peers, problem solving and attending meetings.

Over the last year, whilst Covid-19 restrictions have been in place, the majority of the traditional face to face work placements planned could not take place. With over 50 work placements left to deliver by March 2024, this new online engagement method will allow people to continue benefitting from the learning opportunities the project has to offer. 

Placements will last a minimum of five days and all will include an induction to the Flaxmill Maltings site, as well as work on live project activities. Participants will be supported to develop useful skills for working with historic building conservation and regeneration projects. Opportunities for placements are being explored across several project areas including heritage management, public engagement and marketing and e-learning. Historic England are also working with project partners and suppliers to explore the potential for hosted placements.

The Marches Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), via its Growth Deal with Government, have provided £2m of funding to the Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings regeneration project. The works funded are integral to bringing the Flaxmill Maltings back to life for a third century of use and work placements are just one of the outputs from this part of the programme. 

Juliet Baillie, Sector Skills Adviser, Historic England said:

“Innovation is part of the DNA of Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings – the world’s first iron-framed building – and we are pleased that a new way to run placements online for the Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings project has been conceived and agreed.

The programme of placements will offer opportunities for participants to develop skills and experience in working with the historic built environment, covering a range of roles and activities across the heritage sector from e-learning and marketing, to heritage management. The online placements have got off to a great start, with one participant commenting that although the days were very intense, they felt immersed and engaged in the material and motivated to work hard.”

The aim of the Marches LEP is to drive economic growth across Herefordshire, Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin, through investment in innovation, higher level skills, housing and business sites.

Mandy Thorn MBE, Marches Local Enterprise Partnership chair, said:

“The Marches LEP funding awarded to the Flaxmill Maltings project in 2018 focused its outputs around innovation, skills and jobs creation, supporting businesses and encouraging growth within our region.

We are pleased that the construction project has continued to move forwards during a difficult year. The works include the new road into site which will provide access to the Main Mill and Kiln, and support any future regeneration of the Cross Mill, Warehouse and Apprentice House. Future sustainable transport plans will be helped by the creation of a new coach drop off and collection point and the work completed on the highway in front of the Main Mill will enable better and safer access to the site for pedestrians.

We are also excited to see the programme of online placements that Historic England are putting together coming to fruition.     

The completion of the Marches LEP funded works will mark a huge step forwards in enabling the Flaxmill Maltings to become a thriving hub where communities can come together to work, visit, learn and live.”

Built in 1797, the Flaxmill Maltings had two centuries of use, first as a flax mill, then a maltings and also as a training centre and barracks during World War II. 

The restoration of the Grade I listed Main Mill and the Grade II Kiln at the Flaxmill Maltings is taking place thanks to a £20.7m grant from National Lottery players through The National Lottery Heritage Fund, combined with the 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.

Alastair Godfrey, Project Lead, Historic England, said: 

“The programme of work part-funded by the Marches LEP is hugely important to the Flaxmill Maltings project, and is well underway.

Works to bring vital utilities into site are complete and works on opening up the site for the future housing scheme, visitor experience and commercial space are in their final stages.   

The delivery of work placements online offers individuals wanting a future career in heritage and related sectors an exciting new way to engage and it’s great that participants will still be able to gain workplace skills during these challenging times.”

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. There will also be a new visitor experience managed by the Friends of the Flaxmill Maltings and a café open to the public. 

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 more information about work placements please visit Opportunities will be added as they become available and you can find details of how to join our work placements mailing list.

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The Marches Local Enterprise Partnership has now ceased trading and transferred all its functions to Shropshire Council working with Telford & Wrekin Council and Herefordshire Council, in line with the UK Government's plans for devolution.

The Marches LEP was established in 2011 and hands over an impressive legacy from its 13-year life. In that time the LEP invested over £196m in projects across the Marches, securing in excess of £100m of match funding and supported more than 66,000 business interactions.

The schemes supported have made tangible differences to local communities, increasing skills, creating jobs and improving the physical appearance of many towns.

We would like to thank all the LEP Board Members who have given their time freely over the life of the LEP, as well as all the staff who worked for the LEP over the years. We also want to thank our delivery partners, local education providers and local, regional and national stakeholders who helped us achieve so much.

The Marches Growth Hub will continue to support businesses and will be managed by Shropshire Council, supported by Telford and Wrekin and Herefordshire Councils. Each of the three Local Authorities will also continue to provide direct business support locally. Details of this support will be available through the Marches Growth Hub website and from the Local Authorities directly. Website: | email:

The Marches Careers Hub will continue to be delivered and will be managed by Shropshire Council, supported by Telford & Wrekin and Herefordshire Councils. Website: | email:

For any queries about Getting Building Fund (GBF), Local Growth Fund (LGF) and Marches Investment Fund (MIF) projects supported by the Marches LEP please contact:

For any finance queries please contact:

The solvent liquidation of the Marches LEP is being managed by the Evelyn Partners Limited. For any matter related to this please contact:

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