employment and training opportunities

Project value

employment and training opportunities

Project value


Regeneration of former paper mill site to create 800 new homes


Canton, Cardiff


December 2015 – 2022


Tirion Group, Cadwyn HA, the Welsh Government, Principality Building Society




• Former industrial site

• Major regeneration programme

• 800 new homes

• Addressing the need for affordable housing locally

• Over 1,000 employment and training opportunities

• Provided 58 weeks of work experience

• Ensured 61% of total spend (equating to £886,516) secured with Welsh companies

The 53-acre site closed down in 1999, taking with it hundreds of local jobs. The Mill, an 800-home urban village with its own neighbourhood centre, community hall and parks, is set to bring over 1,000 new jobs to an area blighted by unemployment.

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“Supporting this development goes to the heart of our purpose in helping people access quality affordable housing in an attractive environment. In recent years we have invested heavily in local communities through a variety of both commercial and residential projects. The Mill project will hopefully pave the way for similar schemes across Wales.”

Peter Hughes,

Managing Director, Principality Commercial

The 53-acre site closed down in 1999, taking with it hundreds of local jobs. The Mill, an 800-home urban village with its own neighbourhood centre, community hall and parks, is set to bring over 1,000 new jobs to an area blighted by unemployment. With financial backing from the Welsh Government and Principality, this reclaimed industrial site will create a vibrant new community of high-quality one and two-bedroom apartments and two, three and four-bedroom houses.

The scheme’s layout will include a treelined river walk, cycle paths, open spaces and leafy ‘green streets’ branching off from The Mill’s main tree-lined boulevard. Addressing the need for affordable housing in the area, around half of the homes at this flagship development will be for discounted, open market and social rent, managed by Cadwyn for the Tirion Group. We will offer the remaining 358 homes for open market sale.

Although the site was originally tendered as a land bid, we impressed the partners by our ability to deliver both the affordable and open market elements, allowing them to benefit from the continuity and economies of scale this would provide. We demonstrated that we had the necessary skills and expertise, as well as a willingness to approach the project differently, to allow us to meet their requirements.

As a result the project is a true partnership, with all parties working together to agree the branding for the site as well as the microsite and social media messaging, where the three partners are equally represented. To promote positive working relationships from the start, we held an Expectations Exchange to agree what each partner would provide and ensure we were all moving towards the same goal. This process proved so successful that we are now rolling it out across the region.

We started work on site in January 2017 and the first homes for sale were ready by autumn 2017, with 102 of the homes for rent completed by the following spring. Interest in The Mill has been high from the outset, with many local residents – particularly first-time buyers and families – visiting our stand at the Ely and Caerau Festival in July 2016.

Even before our marketing suite and show apartment opened in July 2017, we had already secured 21 reservations, mostly from first-time buyers, during our eight week pre-launch phase at Hoskins Morgan estate agents.

During the lifetime of the scheme, we will create over 1,000 opportunities for local people through apprenticeships, training placements and graduate programmes. We set up The Mill Employment and Training Group to co-ordinate our delivery of the employment and skills plan, with representatives from The Prince’s Trust, Tirion, Cadwyn, Communities First, Careers Wales, Cardiff & Vale College, CITB, Construction Trust, Y Prentis and the Ex-Forces Career Transition Partnership.

Alongside our partners Tirion and Cadwyn, we hosted 16 young people as part of The Prince’s Trust’s Get into Construction programme, with Welsh Government Minister for Skills and Science Julie James visiting the site in March 2017 to meet the trainees.

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Creating an enhanced sense of community is one of our long-term goals at The Mill, so we get involved in a range of initiatives to leave a lasting legacy, both economically and socially. In September 2016 we invited local subcontractors to an event at Cardiff City Stadium where they could find out more about opportunities to work with us at The Mill. Over 150 people attended and a number of local companies have since been added to our supply chain.

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Video thumbnail of a row of houses. The video explains how Lovell regenerated an old paper mill into a new thriving community.
The Mill Case Study
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“After a long pre-construction process we are delighted to see the plans for this exciting development come to fruition. This development will provide much-needed affordable housing and we look forward to our continuing partnership with the Tirion Group.”

Andrew Bateson,

Director of Operations