Derelict mill near Larbert will dance another day

Louisa Phillips and Sheila Mackie from NRG Performers have transformed the old mill to Carmill Studios
Louisa Phillips and Sheila Mackie from NRG Performers have transformed the old mill to Carmill Studios

An abandoned mill has been given a new lease of life after being turned into studios by two dance teachers.

Louisa Phillips and Sheila Mackie bought the former mill in Stirling Road, near Larbert, two years ago and after a complete overhaul the building now houses four dance studios and space for a shop.

The pair, who own NRG Performers dance school and the Dance On shop in Manor Street, Falkirk, admitted the Carmill Studios project was bigger than they anticipated.

Louisa (35) said: “There was a serious risk of flooding so we had to raise the floors as well as reinforce them to make them suitable to dance on.

“We knew the space could make a great studio and the transformation is incredible. It’s safe to say we went over budget getting it the way we wanted.”

As well as hosting classes, space will be available to let for rehearsals and next year Dance On will move to the building.

Local historian Ian Scott said it is incorrectly referred to as Larbert Mill and it actually lies within Falkirk.

He said: “The original Larbert Mill in the Broomage area was of ancient origin but the arrival of Carron Company in 1759 and the creation of the lade and reservoirs probably put paid to it. It is around this time that the one known as Larbert Mill began to operate and is on an estate plan of 1790.

“Historian John Reid believes it may have been named Lord Alexander’s Mill after one of Livingstons and ground corn, powered not by the Carron but by the Lightwater Burn.”