Millennium Mills has been described as the Battersea Power Station of the Royal Docks. This huge industrial building and its surroundings are about to get a £3.5 billion revamp. Once complete, the area will include a new commercial hub, new homes, plus leisure and culture facilities, new parks and gardens and 1km of new water frontage.
The centrepiece was once a thriving flour mill, taking in grain from around the world and converting it to powder. The mill closed in the early 1980s, along with most other industry in the Royal Docks. It has remained derelict ever since, visited only by urban explorers and film crews looking for a gritty edge.
All that is about to change. The Silvertown Partnership is set to transform the derelict site into a bustling business district. Millennium Mills itself will be reworked as an incubator for start-up businesses, with 500,000 sq ft of floorplates, catering for the solo trader up to medium sized companies. More established companies will be able to make use of 'brand pavilions', spaces where they can test out new products on potential customers.
The wider site will also contain up to 3,000 new homes, including houses with gardens among the more usual apartment blocks. It is unclear at this early stage how many will be allocated as affordable, although figures of 20-35% have been reported. We will explore this aspect more fully when details become available.
We took a look around the Millennium Mills building, to get a sense of the heritage and architecture ahead of the redevelopment. Browse the gallery below to get more information on particular features.