Stanley Mills, courtesy Historic Scotland
The redevelopment of an abandoned Scottish cotton mill complex into a new heritage attraction has reached a landmark stage, as the buildings have been handed back from the contractors to owners Historic Scotland.
Stanley Mills, which stands on the River Tay near Perth, has been undergoing a major series of repairs and refurbishment for the last two years. The Bell Mill and Mid Mill have been turned into a visitor centre and education centre that house a range of interactive displays and will host activities bringing to life the history and science behind the watermills.
“It’s fabulous to see how this important part of the nation’s industrial heritage has been brought back to life,” said Jane Rahil, project manager for Historic Scotland.
“The mills date back to the late 18th century and were the economic powerhouse of the surrounding area for 200 years. When the mills finally closed in the Eighties these was a feeling that the end might well have come.”
“But we believe that the visitor centre, with all its facilities, will put the mills back at the heart of the community as well as providing a great day out for families from all round Scotland and the world.”
The heritage centre will open to the public in spring. Courtesy Historic Scotland
The first mill in the complex was built in 1786, harnessing the power of the river to spin cotton. It was the first example of Arkwright’s factory system in Scotland, and only ended its commercial operations in 1989.
Stanley Mills has been in the care of Historic Scotland since 1995, being attributed Grade A listing status. Grants of more than £7 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund have supported the project to conserve the buildings and turn them into a visitor attraction telling the story of the mills and the people who worked there.
The finishing touches are now being put in place before an official opening in spring 2008.