The Flaxmill Maltings Hoardings Project - Art and Inspiration

Public Art Design, Development and Delivery Brief


The Flaxmill Maltings complex includes the Main Mill, which is the first iron framed building in the world, and is of international significance. Not only did it shape modern architecture, but the Main Mill has had a huge impact on the numerous industries and thousands of people connected to it over its rich and varied history. It proudly sits within an important industrial heritage site and we want to bring the stories connected to the mill and site back to life through art.

The Main Mill and adjacent Kiln are presently undergoing four years of renovation and development during which time a significant part of the site is closed to public view. In order to ensure that the local community and visitors retain and develop a positive attitude towards the site, the Friends of the Flaxmill Maltings wish to commission four pieces of art which will be printed as large panels to display initially on the fencing surrounding the car park and eventually as an integral part of the site itself. An additional panel will serve as interpretation for this art current project and activity.



The fencing can be seen along St Michaels Street near the junction to Crewe Street and Marshalls Court in Shrewsbury. This road is part of the significant gateway to the county town and has high traffic and footfall past the area.



2. Vision, Context & Community Engagement

The vision is two-fold, as it is envisaged that along with providing a number of striking focal art pieces displayed on the fencing, the artists commissioned will work alongside community groups to design and create the works. In their submission for this project artists must present a vision and expertise in their chosen medium to facilitate creating the final displays, through which both individual and community acknowledgement can be achieved. 

The theme is for artwork is “Art and Inspiration”. This can be through either abstract or literal representation, drawing on this unique and exciting heritage site and the numerous stories derived from it. 

The final pieces will be printed for display onto lightweight matte aluminum panels at 2.4m x 1.2m (8’ x 4’). This opens up a variety of art mediums for the commission to include conventional 2D and 3D pieces, photography and digital artwork. The only stipulation being that the final pieces are clearly understood where narrative is involved, or striking if in the abstract, and that they depict the heritage site, its interpretation or stories. 

Artist’s applications should identify their preferred target groups, and where relevant cite experience in that area. 

In line with our existing Arts Strategy, Artists should be open to working with students or emerging artists, who they may be asked to mentor.


4. Artists Role

We are looking for Artists with experience of delivering in the public realm and of working alongside community and/or school groups. The Artists role would be to interpret the brief to achieve the dual aim as described in section 3 above, and to engage with their target group in the community, making sure that there is a general understanding of what this project hopes to achieve. The Artists will be appointed on strengths both in proposed design and planned community engagement, along with cost, value for money and previously commissioned work. Once the designs have been agreed by the organising committee, the Artist will be responsible for accurately costing and sourcing the relevant materials needed for the creation of the artwork. Included in this should be estimated time allocated to both individual and target group work. All planned work must be safe, user friendly and meet Health and Safety standards. For site visits we will require sight of a risk assessment, which we will provide support in preparing.

Artists will be required to provide evidence of public liability insurance.


5. Funding

It is envisaged that this project will be funded by an Arts Council Grant. Artists should be aware that the project may not proceed beyond the planning stage if the grant application is unsuccessful. 

The budget for the creation of each piece will be £2,000, which should be allocated by Artists to materials and time, both for facilitating and creating the commissions. An additional £1,200 will be allocated to the sourcing and printing of the four finished board and £1,500 will be allocated to commissioning and printing a fifth panel, which will act as interpretation for this art project. This will be facilitated by the organising committee.


6. Timescale

  • Deadline for applications is the 17th December 2018

  • Shortlisted candidates will receive confirmation by the 24th December 2018 Artists will be appointed on confirmation of a successful funding application Work is expected to start in mid March 2018

  • Confirmation of grant – early February 2019

  • Work to be completed and in place by mid May 2019


7. Application Procedure

The deadline for applications is the 17th December 2018. 

Artists are welcome to visit the Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings and this can be arranged by contacting the office directly on 01743 360213 or by emailing [email protected]

Artists are invited to submit by clicking on the link to the application form here:

Application form

In addition artists are asked to submit three images to support their application by email to: [email protected]  , subject line: Hoardings Project

Alternatively post to;

Hoardings Project, Friends of the Flaxmill Maltings, Flaxivity, Spring Gardens, Shrewsbury, SY1 2SZ


8. Selection Process

The selection committee will compromise Trustees of the Friends of the Flaxmill Maltings Board and representatives from Historic England.


9. Working Structure

Once appointed, The Friends will support the Artists with resources such as archive material, recorded oral histories, imagery and plans of the site etc. We will also make the site available for visits where possible. The appointed Artists will be allocated their community groups by the organising committee and it will be the responsibility of the Artist to liaise with the groups directly to arrange creative sessions to carry out the project. 

Day to day support will be provided by Richard Benjamin, the Friends’ Coordinator. Design sign off and reporting will be to the organising committee.

The Friends of the Flaxmill Maltings and Historic England reserve the right to use images of any artwork produced during this project for promotion and publicity purposes.


10. Project Contact

Enquiries about this commission should be submitted by email to:

Richard Benjamin (Project coordinator) at [email protected]