Mayor unlocks redevelopment of Millennium Mills in Royal Docks

21 January 2015

• £12m to kick start restoration of heritage Thames building, an icon of industrial London • Part of wider Silvertown vision to create 5m sq ft of new business space, 3,000 new homes and more than 20,000 new jobs

The Mayor of London has secured a £12m investment to fast track redevelopment of an iconic former flour factory in the heart of the Royal Docks.

The Millennium Mills site has been out of use since the early 1980s but work has now begun on renovating the gigantic factory building ahead of its conversion into a brand new centre for business and enterprise.

Millennium Mills stands on land owned by the Greater London Authority and the £12m of Government funding for the site is being used to demolish parts of the interior and rid the former flour mill of asbestos contamination.

That work will fast track its renovation by five years and make it ready to welcome the next generation of start-up businesses by 2017. Today (21 January) the Mayor of London’s Deputy Mayor for Housing and Land, Richard Blakeway, will accompany the Government’s Communities Minister, Penny Mordaunt, on a visit to the site, which is part of London’s Enterprise Zone.

Redevelopment of the 450,000 sq ft land-mark, one of the last remaining heritage buildings on the River Thames, forms the centrepiece of a wider £3.5bn project, being led by the Silvertown partnership, to transform this part of the Royal Docks from the industrial to the digital age delivering 5m sq ft of business space, more than 20,000 new jobs, 3,000 new homes and contributing £260 million each year to the London economy.

Part of the Mayor of London’s commitment to regenerate London’s docklands, this is the latest in a string of exciting investments in the Royal Docks Enterprise Zone area, including plans to create the UK’s largest floating village at Royal Victoria Dock, the ABP business port at Royal Albert Dock, Siemens Crystal Centre, the UK's first urban cable car the Emirates Air Line and Crossrail.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “The restoration of this great industrial monolith is another vital ingredient in the regeneration of London’s historic Royal Docks. We want to return this site to its former glory, supporting business and enterprise and breathing new life into an area of the capital that has been dormant for decades.”

Local Growth Minister Penny Mordaunt said: “It’s great to see work starting on Millennium Mills at London’s Enterprise Zone. This iconic building, once a symbol of decline, will be the centrepiece of a thriving new business district that will create thousands of new jobs and bring prosperity back to the docks. That’s why we are investing £12 million to kick-start this project. It’s all part of a long-term economic plan that is driving business forward and delivering real benefits to hard-working people.”

The 62 acre Silvertown Quays site is proposed to become the world’s first cluster of purpose built centres for product innovation, where top brands will be able to showcase their latest products and interact with customers in an entirely new way. The historic water front will be opened up with cafes, restaurants, galleries and public spaces, where people can come to research, learn and discover new products and ideas. It will be a thriving new destination expected to attract around 13 million visitors each year.

The £12m funding has been obtained through the Government’s Building Foundations for Growth Enterprise Zones Capital Grant fund and awarded to Millennium Mills through the London Enterprise Panel, which is chaired by the Mayor.

Elliot Lipton from The Silvertown Partnership, said: “Silvertown is a final part of the jigsaw for East London. It has the space, the scale and the access to bring together game-changing individuals and enterprises. We have a unique opportunity here to bring together many of the leading edge activities, with the space to grow, to collaborate, to move our city forward. We have now marked the start, with Millennium Mills set to house half a million square foot of creativity at the heart of Silvertown.”

Notes to editors

• The Mayor’s London Enterprise Panel (LEP), the local enterprise partnership for London, is one of 39 LEPs across England and was established by the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, to take a strategic view of the regeneration, employment and skills agenda for London. The Panel brings together leading business representatives, the further and higher education sectors, London’s boroughs and the Mayoralty.

• Millennium Mills was built in 1905 and in its heyday was home to brands including Rank Hovis MacDougall and Spillers and the destination for grain from the wheat fields of the US and Canada. It withstood heavy bombing during both world wars but has lain dormant since 1981, appearing only as a dramatic landmark in movies and music videos.

• Proposals for the Silvertown Quays redevelopment were submitted to the London Borough of Newham in August 2014 following a development agreement between the Mayor of London and The Silvertown Partnership in June 2013. The ambition is to attract global organisations from commerce, academia and research while creating a cutting edge future for the Royal Docks. The development will feature cutting edge design, strong environmental and tech credentials and inventive and inspiring public realm and water frontage.

• The Silvertown Partnership’s plans also include a new landmark bridge, to connect Silvertown Quays with the Crossrail station at Custom House; its imminent arrival in 2018 will bring the City within 10 minutes and the West End of London within 17 minutes.

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