Stanley Mills, Perth

Restoring a vast industrial site in Scotland into a residential development.

This was our first project and was hugely ambitious. We restored and adapted this vast, complex and unique Category ‘A’ listed site of water-powered cotton mills, situated on a majestic bend of the River Tay, into residential accommodation.

At the height of productivity the Mill employed over 800 people, mainly women and children. The site finally closed in 1989 and was subsequently badly vandalised and became derelict.

In 1995 the Mill was saved from demolition and taken into care by Historic Scotland with a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). A further grant from the HLF allowed Historic Scotland to start restoring the bell mill and to prepare proposals to convert it into a visitor centre.

In 1997, Historic Scotland asked us to develop rescue proposals for the mid and east mills. These were the two largest buildings on the site to be threatened by demolition and no viable use had at that time been identified for them.

We bought the mills from Historic Scotland in 1997, and in April of that year His Royal Highness visited the site along with our Trustees and the newly appointed Director, Kit Martin.

In 1997, the idea of residential apartments in an industrial complex in rural Scotland had not been tried and tested. However, by 2000 we had completed the £7m project, restoring the mills to their former glory and adapting them for residential use. 

The mid mill has been converted into five four-bedroom four-storey houses and four three-bedroom two-storey duplex apartments. The east mill has been converted into 30 flats ranging in size from one to three bedrooms (39 units in total). All the accommodation at the mills is now occupied. It is truly a unique and beautiful residential complex and has provided a major economic boost to the surrounding area.