#456 – Mutual Mills

Mutual Mills, Heywood
Mutual Mills, Heywood

In 1965, Mutual Mills had more than 1,000 people on the payroll and, as well as its textiles operation, had its own Adelaide Engineering division on site (who are still active on site as a sub-contract machining operation).DSC_2004

In the 1970s and early 1980s, Heywood’s textile mills were closing down at a rapid rate, blaming cheap foreign imports for their demise.

But Mutual Mills struggled on, though steadily reducing its workforce.


The death knell was sounded in 1986 when one of the four mills in the complex was sold off, followed by further job losses and the end of the town’s last surviving cotton spinning firm.

The mills appear to be in multiple occupation, but while there is interest in converting them into apartments, nothing appears to have got off the ground yet. The mills are listed and are one of the few complete remaining large complexes of mills left with most having been partially or completely demolished over the past half century.


Two of the mills are currently for sale for £1.6million


3 Comments Add yours

  1. Eddie Devall says:

    There would be no problem with conversion to residential in Manchester, especially with the lodge as a water feature. Whether enough of the ‘better heeled’ could be enticed to move to a place like Heywood is another matter. A successful scheme would be a great boost to the town and would ensure the future of this notable complex. Its present situation has endured for way too long.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. andy says:

      A yuppified mill conversion would doubtless appeal to a particular market if marketed well, especially if it was combined with business units and leisure facilities, almost like a village, that would benefit the wider community. And there are worse places than Heywood – Ancoats has been successfully regenerated and that really was bandit country.


      1. Eddie Devall says:

        Got to agree with all of that Andy. With Ancoats the money, the vision and the ideas have gone in there and created the ‘buzz’. It seems to work better in the inner city, and whilst there are plenty of sites still to go at, that is probably where it is going to continue mainly. The idea of a mixed use village / community sounds like a winner.
        Will the day come too late for multi use schemes to be proposed for what were the better remaining mills, in the former textile towns. Ones that would utilise their full potential, that gave a lot on a small footprint as against the modern trend to the reverse.
        If action had have been taken at an early stage what could Hartford Mill in Oldham be like today. Right by the tram stop, with fast, frequent services. Surrounding land for landscaping, recreation and visitor parking. Commanding position with great views. A spur to further improvement in the area. Instead this Listed building has been left to rot and be attacked by vandals and arsonist for over twenty years. There is only one way for that to end now, just a matter of when.

        Liked by 1 person

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