Iconic mill’s £4m silk lining

Galgate Mill
Galgate Mill

A major £4m redevelopment of one of the Lancaster district’s landmark buildings is on the cards.

Developers have this week put forward plans to turn Galgate Silk Mill into a 107-bed student apartment block and a museum of silk weaving.

The mill is the oldest mechanical silk mill in the world, and dates back to 1792. Preston-based Ayub Hussain, of newly formed UK Mills Ltd, said that Lancaster had “forgotten” about the mill, and that it had to be preserved for the future. He added: “We asked ourselves what is right for it and this is what we have come up with. “It’s been a lot of work but I’m very excited.”

The plans come in the same week that another developer is proposing to build 72 new homes off Stoney Lane in Galgate.

Story Homes, which is currently working on redeveloping the new build element of the Lancaster Moor Hospital project, said that up to 28 of the properties would be classed as “affordable homes for local people”.

A public exhibition is due to be held on November 11 at Ellel Village Hall, in Main Road, Galgate, between 3pm and 8pm.

Galgate isn’t the only village in the district where housing is currently one of the main topics of conversation.

There are also proposals for 70 new houses on fields off Forgewood Drive in Halton, 72 in fields off Kirkby Lonsdale Road in Over Kellet, over 30 in Cockerham and 18 on farmland in Aldcliffe.

In the longer term, there are thousands of new homes proposed on both greenfield and brownfield sites across the district.

Story Homes’ development planner David Hayward said: “This is the very 
earliest stage of the process and we are keen to hear local people’s views from the outset.

“The public exhibition is an opportunity for the community to come forward with comments and suggestions to help us shape our plans for development in Galgate. The application we are proposing is in outline format, which simply decides if building in principle is approved.

“If successful, a more detailed plan would be drawn up in the future and we look forward to working with the community in advancing the detailed proposals.”