BALTIC Flour Mill

A former flour mill which has been converted into a modern art gallery, the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, otherwise known as BALTIC.

Fun facts

  1. The building was originally a working flour mill that opened in 1950 by Rank Hovis.
  2. Later in 1957, an animal food mill extension was added which meant that it was a multi-functioning mill that produced flour grain and animal food.
  3. The building was designed by architects Gelder and Kitchen and was used as a model for other mills built by Rank Hovis.
  4. When the building was completed it was the tallest building in Gateshead.
  5. A theory behind the name of the building is that it was probably named after the Baltic Sea as other mills built by Rank Hovis were named after seas or rivers, including Ocean Mill and Atlantic Mill.
  6. The flour mill closed in 1982, but the building was later redeveloped as a contemporary art (art that is being created now by living artists) gallery called BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art.
  7. When the building was a functioning flour mill it employed about 300 people. There were still 100 people working there when the company, Rank Hovis, closed the mill.
  8. The only part of the building that exists today is the Silo (a structure used to store materials), but there was an attached warehouse that would store 5,000 tonnes of grain (which is a lot!). Having the mill in a key location along the River Tyne made it quicker and easier to load flour onto ships that had docked along the river. The ships could then transport grain to other parts of the country by water.
  9. The site of the flour mill laid derelict from 1982 until planning for the art gallery started in 1992. It took 10 years to plan and build BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, which opened in 2002 and is still open to today.

Then and now

Photograph of BALTIC Art Gallery
Photograph of the front of BALTIC Art Gallery
Baltic Flour Mill
Baltic Flour Mill
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Find more images of the BALTIC Flour Mill on the Co-Curate website.

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