Flintshire County Council
The project was the second Ainsley Gommon Architects had completed within the Holywell Townscape Heritage Initiative, a scheme supporting the phased restoration of landmark buildings within the Holywell Conservation Area. Following the restoration and conversion of the former St Winefrides Convent School into affordable apartments, Ainsley Gommon Architects were appointed by Flintshire County Council to restore the 19th Century Textile Mill building on the opposite side of the road.
The 19th Century stone and brick building had previously been used as the Holywell Textile Mill Shop before falling into a derelict condition and was in danger of imminent collapse. The Client, with support from Cadw and the Heritage Lottery Fund, saw the potential to restore the building rather than resort to demolition, and with the potential to provide a valuable community resource.
The external walls of the mill were in a relatively good condition, but the building had been victim to an alleged arson attack which had led to fire damage to the first floor timberwork and the roof and consequently a significant amount of structural work was required, including a new internal steel frame. A 1970’s extension to the rear of the building was removed and replaced with a new circulation link and the internal layout of the building was remodelled to provide a Community Arts and Crafts Centre with studio spaces, tea room and multi-functional spaces. The first floor was converted to a Gallery space, making use of the north light roof to provide an even distribution of light perfectly suited to viewing exhibitions.