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Stanley Mills Earns Fifth Accolade

9 June 2009

The Stanley Mills water mill complex beside the River Tay has picked up a fifth accolade for excellence in conservation.

The recent Scottish Design Awards 2009 saw it take the title for the best re-use of a listed building.

Judges made the award to LDN Architects – hired by Historic Scotland to create a visitor and education centre in the oldest parts of the complex – the Bell Mill and the Mid Mill.

Jane Rahil, Historic Scotland project manager for Stanley Mills, said: “It is wonderful that all those who worked so hard on the project to conserve Stanley Mills and give them a new future have been recognised in the Scottish Design Awards.

“The mills are an important part of Scotland’s industrial heritage and we are delighted not just to have saved them for future generations, but to have transformed them into an exciting and innovative visitor centre for the public to enjoy.”

The mills went out of production in 1989, fell into a dilapidated state and faced demolition until bought by Historic Scotland in 1995.

They were rescued with the help of The Prince’s Regeneration Trust and received considerable financial support from the Heritage Lottery Fund and other bodies.

Historic Scotland turned the most historically significant areas into a £4.7 million visitor and education centre.

The visitor centre incorporates part of the Mid Mill and the entire Bell Mill, which was created in 1786 by Sir Richard Arkwright and is the best-preserved cotton spinning mill directly associated with the inventor of the factory system.

Notes for editors

The latest award

Visit the Scottish Design Awards website at for further details.
Those cited for the Stanley Mills project were:

  • Company: LDN Architects

  • Client: Historic Scotland

  • Interpretative Designers: Campbell & Co

  • Structural Engineers: Elliot & Company

  • Services Engineers: Rybka

Other recent accolades

  • Joint prize winner of the 2009 Museums and Heritage Award for Restoration/Conservation for the conservation of the Bell Mill and Mid Mill.

  • The 2009 European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage/Europa Nostra award, which Historic Scotland shares with The Prince’s Regeneration Trust for work across the entire complex.

  • The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) 2009 award for the best conservation project in Scotland was made for the Historic Scotland work on the Bell Mill.

  • Historic Scotland’s conservation work also earned a highly commended in the annual Civic Trust awards.

About the Mills

  • Historic Scotland carried out the conservation of the Bell Mill, lade system, and ancillary buildings and was responsible for the landscaping.

  • The project to create a visitor centre has involved the careful conservation of  the original architectural features.

  • Historic Scotland has worked with a number of local groups and former workers to gather information and conserve items associated with the mills. Memories of the workers have also been collected in an oral history project.

  • The visitor centre includes an education area which has been designed to allow schools and educational groups to carry out a wide variety of study projects linked to the Curriculum for Excellence.  

  • The former water mill complex harnessed the power of the River Tay for cotton spinning. The first mill was built in 1786.

Historic Scotland is delighted to be supporting the 2009 Year of Homecoming with a series of initiatives including family trails, spectacular events and the creation of a Homecoming Pass for heritage attractions in association with other heritage organisations.

For further information

Rebecca Hamilton
Marketing and Media Manager
Marketing and Media
0131 668 8685 / 07788 923871