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    Blog by Tom Bloxham MBE

    Kirstie Allsopp’s favourite building, LS Lowry’s old workplace and a ravers’ institution - the best of #USMills

    31 May 2018
    A 6 minute read by Tom Bloxham

    If you follow our social channels you’ll have noticed our posts this last month about the mills we’ve converted over the last 25 years.

    If the walls of those old buildings could talk they’d certainly have a few tales to tell and here we run through the best of them...

    Avro, Manchester

    Avro, Manchester

    Manchester’s mills have been home to some awesome and pioneering businesses over the years - Avro is one of them with a great story to tell. It was originally home home to aviation business AV Roe who created some of the warplanes that helped win WW2; AV Roe’s rent collector was LS Lowry who was clerical assistant at the building too.

    Lister Mills, Bradford

    Lister Mills, Bradford

    Kirstie Allsopp off ‘telly said Listers was “one of the most amazing things” she’d ever seen and that the building was ‘staggering’. She’s got a point, this beautiful old structure gave us quite the canvas to work with when we redeveloped it into new apartments and workspaces across two buildings now known as Silk Warehouse and Velvet Mill.

    Beehive Mill, Manchester

    Beehive Mill, Manchester

    Less industrious, but a great reputation nonetheless, Beehive was home to Manchester clubbing institution Sankey’s. Little known performers like Daft Punk, Bjork and The Chemical Brothers all played there. We bought the building in 2017 and are turning it into workspaces for brilliant Manc businesses.

    Longlands Mill, Stalybridge

    Longlands Mill, Stalybridge

    The former Castle Street Mill was one of Stalybridge’s biggest employers welcoming hundreds of people each day. There were a mere 85,000 spindles in the building at its peak - now it’s filled with 44 apartments.

    Mills Bakery, Royal William Yard, Plymouth

    Mills Bakery, Royal William Yard, Plymouth

    Mills is just one of the stunning Grade I Listed buildings that make up Royal WIlliam Yard in Plymouth. The area, named after King William IV, was intended to bring the manufacturing and storage of food, drink and other naval supplies within one secure site close to Devonport dockyard. Mills itself was originally a bread and biscuit factory before then being used as a clothing and equipment store.

    Stubbs Mill, Manchester

    Stubbs Mill, Manchester

    This bobbins mill (it made bobbins; we’re not being Manc slang derogatory!) was a big employer; it took around 50 years to complete the construction of the original building - thankfully we were a bit quicker in redeveloping it into contemporary workspace for US sports brand Fanatics.

    Take a look back at our mill conversions and all our regeneration projects on our image gallery.

    About the author

    Tom Bloxham

    Chairman and Co-Founder

    The least qualified board member, Tom sold fire extinguishers door to door, studied a degree in politics, sold records then posters and ran a market stall down Affleck's Arcade.

    He made more money sub-letting the space than selling his posters. That's how it started. Following setting up a pub business, nightclub and radio station, Tom, along with Jonathan Falkingham MBE, founded Urban Splash in 1993.

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