Engines for Prosperity

New uses for old mills in the North West.


Engines for Prosperity


Mills Study, North West of England


Cushman + Wakefield / Historic England

Scope of Work

Mills study and research to develop best practice guidance in the regeneration of textile mills.


Historic textile mills across the country are disproportionately at risk as a building type. Historic England has reported that since 1988 Greater Manchester alone has lost almost half of its mill buildings through fire, demolition or neglect. A number of Grade I and Grade II* listed Greater Manchester mills are included in Historic England’s Heritage at Risk Register. Many Grade II and unlisted mills in conservation areas are also in need of major investment if they are to be safeguarded for the future.

Cushman & Wakefield and Lathams were appointed by Historic England to outline best practice in repurposing vacant and underused textile mill buildings across the North West of England. This commission accompanies the Engines of Prosperity: new uses for old mills report produced by Cushman & Wakefield for Yorkshire in 2016.

Client Reaction

"Despite the deterioration of many disused textile mill buildings, there have been numerous successful conversion projects, proving that mills are attractive to occupiers for both residential and commercial use. Mill conversions accommodate homes, creative and digital work space, art galleries, retail and leisure uses.

The publication showcases successfully repurposed textile mills alongside other potential mill conversion opportunities. This report shares best practice in overcoming these challenges and makes recommendations for action by public and private sector partners to drive forward the repurposing agenda."