The browser you are using is out of date and is no longer supported. To view and use this site correctly, please update your browser to the latest version.

We're changing

We have created a new public body, Historic Environment Scotland. While we work on shaping our future we can reassure you that all services and products will continue as normal. Please follow our progress and find out more about our new organisation.

HRH The Prince Charles Duke of Rothesay visits Stanley Mills regeneration project

1 June 2010

Watch footage of the visit:

HRH The Prince Charles, Duke of Rothesay, visited the award-winning Stanley Mills in Perthshire, Scotland on Tuesday 1st June to see first hand the successful and award-winning regeneration work completed by his charity, The Prince’s Regeneration Trust and Historic Scotland.

The visit by his HRH The Duke of Rothesay was hosted by Mr John Swinney MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Finance & Sustainable Growth.   

Commenting on the visit, Mr John Swinney said:

“Partnership work between The Prince’s Regeneration Trust and Historic Scotland has transformed Stanley Mills into homes and an internationally recognised visitor attraction.

All along the way they have been supported by former workers and the people of Stanley, with mill employees shaping the visitor experience and groups such as the Stanley Women’s Rural Institute helping to make the project a success.

I am delighted to host today’s visit from His Royal Highness and recognise the achievements of this magnificent regeneration project.”

Stanley Mills is a unique complex of category A listed water-powered cotton mills which date from 1729, and are situated on a bend in the River Tay, Perthshire. The Mills were saved from demolition in 1995, with Bell Mill being developed into a £4.7 million visitor centre by Historic Scotland, and Mid and East Mills being converted into residential accommodation by The Prince’s Regeneration Trust – HRH The Duke of Rothesay's heritage-led regeneration charity. The success of the regeneration has led to the project winning a Europa Nostra European Union Award for Cultural Heritage in 2009.

HRH toured the Mid and East Mills and was invited into the home of Mr John MacGuire, one of the residents of the new apartments, to view the interior conversion. HRH and Mr Macguire then joined other residents of Mid and East Mills on the terrace to discuss the regeneration work and to admire the views afforded across the River Tay.

HRH then continued on to Bell Mill for a tour of Historic Scotland’s visitor centre, led by Chris Watkins, Head of Major Projects for Historic Scotland, and Peter Bromley, Director of Properties in Care for Historic Scotland. HRH met junior guides dressed in traditional costumes who acted as tour guides, operating the interactive machinery within the visitor centre. HRH was then introduced to four former mill workers, and members of the Stanley Women’s Rural Institute textiles group.

HRH completed his visit by meeting with key partners involved in the regeneration, including representatives from the Architectural Heritage Fund, Heritage Lottery Fund, Gannochy Trust and Artefact Conservators.

This was the second time HRH has officially visited the Mills. He last visited the Mills in 1997 before regeneration work had begun.

Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive, The Prince’s Regeneration Trust is pleased with the project’s success and to have had an opportunity to show the achievements to HRH:

“This iconic Mill represents an important part of Scotland’s industrial heritage, but it had suffered badly due to economic change, neglect and the passage of time. We’re delighted to have found a new viable use for this historically important site that serves Stanley well, by attracting both residents and visitors.

We are so pleased that His Royal Highness has been able to return to Stanley Mills to see what has been achieved. This project exemplifies what can be delivered through committed partnerships and close working with the local community,” said Ros.

Editor’s notes:

The Regeneration Work at Stanley Mills

Stanley Mills was used throughout the highs and lows of the Scottish cotton industry in the 18th and 19th centuries. Bell Mill was designed by Sir Richard Arkwright and has international importance as the finest and most complete surviving example of its type. The lade system of waterways and the water-wheel pits remain largely intact despite vandalism and fire damage after the site was closed in 1989.

With funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund and Historic Scotland Bell Mill was restored and converted into a visitor centre. The visitor centre, which has been designated a five star attraction by Visit Scotland, attracted more than 25,000 visitors in its first year of operation, including more than 2,500 school children. The Prince’s Regeneration Trust restored the sandstone  East and Mid Mills to their former splendour in a £7 million conversion that has provided homes for 150-200 people. Both parties employed the same design team to ensure the projects were complementary and maintained high standards of conservation. The close collaboration between Historic Scotland and The Trust was crucial to the success of the scheme, along with the vision and concept of a mixed development – the first of its kind in rural Scotland.

The project was funded by Heritage Scotland, Heritage Lottery Funding, Architectural Heritage Fund, The Gannochy Trust, Tayside Enterprises, and income from the sale of converted properties.

The Prince’s Regeneration Trust

The Prince’s Regeneration Trust is one of The Prince's Charities and has HRH The Prince Charles, Duke of Rothesay as its President. There are 20 charities in the group, which is the largest multi-cause charitable enterprise in the UK.

The Prince’s Regeneration Trust is a separate charity from The Prince’s Trust.

The Prince’s Regeneration Trust is acknowledged as the UK's leading heritage regeneration specialist, delivering successful projects to communities across the UK. The Trust works to help underused or redundant historic buildings perform a new function, unlocking a regeneration of the wider community, particularly in areas of social or economic deprivation.

The Trust works in partnership with communities, developers, local authorities and other public bodies throughout the UK.  Redundant buildings are given a viable, new function which keeps them at the heart of their communities and assists with the wider economic regeneration of their local area. The Trust encourages sharing learning and experience through its projects.

Historic Scotland

Historic Scotland is an executive agency of the Scottish Government charged with safeguarding the nation’s historic environment. The agency is fully accountable to Scottish Ministers and through them to the Scottish Parliament. It manages more than 345 sites in the care of Scottish Ministers. For more information visit

For more information contact:

Marcus Stanton
T: 020 8540 5393

Gemma Colbert
T: 020 7462 6442