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Industrial Heritage Conference, Manchester

Posted on Nov 19, 2015 by

The Heritage Lottery Fund, Historic England and The Prince’s Regeneration Trust are hosting an event to coincide with the Council of Europe’s declaration that 2015 should be marked as the year of European Industrial and Technical Heritage. The Industrial Heritage Conference (1st & 2nd December) will focus on the conservation, protection, promotion and conversion of historic industrial sites. The central theme is re-use, with a focus on developing new uses for vacant, at-risk industrial buildings by connecting them to creative industries businesses, developers, investors, other commercial opportunities and community-led/not-for-profit organisations.

Butlers Wharf, pictured following its restoration and redevelopment

Butlers Wharf, pictured following its restoration and redevelopment.
Image courtesy of

This is, of course, a subject which is very close to our own hearts. Our Founder & Editor’s own home, a grade II listed mill, inspired Warehouse Home – a magazine which has now been read in over 50 countries worldwide.

Warehouse Home Issues One, Two & Three All available to view free via

Warehouse Home Issues One, Two & Three
All available to view free online via

You might remember that in Warehouse Home Issue One, Sir Terence Conran wrote movingly of the moment he caught sight of the “wonderful derelict warehouses” of Shad Thames, London, and knew that he had to rescue these “beautiful old ladies.” Terence Conran’s remarkable vision transformed Butlers Wharf, Shad Thames, (above) into one of the most visited and recognisable warehouse conversions in the country. And he has masterminded the restoration and redevelopment of many of London’s other iconic warehouses.

Boundary Shoreditch

“When I first clapped eyes on the Victorian warehouse and former printing works, I could not wait to start work.”
Terence Conran

Also in Warehouse Home Issue One, Tom Bloxham MBE (chairman of Urban Splash) spoke to us of his passion for heritage buildings, which display so much “individuality, style and grit.” Urban Splash has been credited with pioneering innovative urban regeneration and has gained particular acclaim for transforming post-industrial towns in the north of England. Based in Manchester, the firm has been responsible for the redevelopment of decaying industrial warehouses and mills and dilapidated Victorian terraced houses.

Lister Mills' contemporary zinc clad rooftop pods, by David Morley Architects, were inspired by the weave of silk threads

Lister Mills’ contemporary zinc clad rooftop pods, by David Morley Architects and Urban Splash, were inspired by the weave of silk threads.
Image courtesy of urban

More recently, in Warehouse Home Issue Three, we explored some of the most iconic projects of Manchester and London based architectural practice SimpsonHaugh and Partners. Their pioneering work ranges from the conversion of industrial buildings for commercial use to the restoration of heritage buildings for residential purposes.

Merchants Warehouse in Manchester, by SimpsonHaugh

Merchants Warehouse in Manchester, by SimpsonHaugh
Image courtesy of SimpsonHaugh

The 2-day conference Industrial Heritage Conference will be held on 1st & 2nd December at Manchester’s Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI), which is housed in the former Liverpool Road Stations. The venue itself is one of Manchester’s most important historic sites.

The event will be split across the two days, each with a slightly different focus:

  • Day One will explore the role of the public sector in encouraging the creative reuse of industrial heritage and commercial opportunities presented by historic buildings, with a focus on creative industries, development and regeneration uses. It aims to connect with businesses, investors and local/national decision makers.
  • Day Two will explore opportunities to develop new uses and engage with commercial partners to leverage investment and funding with a focus on not-for-profit groups, community organisations, heritage sector partners and historic building owners.

The fantastic speaker line-up includes Tom Bloxham MBE.

The Jam Factory by SimpsonHaugh, London

The Jam Factory by SimpsonHaugh, London
Photography by Sophie Bush for Warehouse Home

“Saving an old building, giving it a new lease of life and seeing an area thrive as a result gives everybody involved a degree of pleasure that an entirely new project might not perhaps inspire.” Sir Terence Conran

This promises to be a fascinating conference. And we are very proud to be supporting it. To book your ticket now, simply visit the Industrial Heritage Conference website. We hope to see you there!


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