Islington Mill

Back in 1823, Islington Mill was built for cotton-spinning. Now it’s Salford’s epicentre for artistic ideas and opportunities

The Grade II listed Islington Mill, pretty much hidden down a side street off Oldfield Road, is everything to everyone – a venue, artist studios, a meeting place, gallery space, even a Bed and Breakfast. In a former life it was at the centre of the industrial revolution but, since the turn of the millennium, it’s been the base for Salford’s post-industrial cultural revolution and it’s reckoned that around 1,700 artists have launched careers here, while 15,000 people visit every year. Islington Mill is Salford’s permanent Mad Hatter’s tea party with some serious creative business undertones and artistic overtures.

Since Bill Campbell bought the building in 2000, and it’s been constantly renovated over the years, with the latest upgrade adding new studios at Regents Trading Estate and New Islington Mill. The enterprise now houses over one hundred artists, including outsider musicians, drag and burlesque performers, sculptors, illustrators, ceramicists, fashion designers and painters. Sounds From The Other City fest, zany promoters Fat Out and LGBTv also have a base in the cultural engine room, with events and exhibitions happening all over the place.

The Ting Tings

The Tings Tings performed their first ‘official’ gig at Sounds From The Other City on a tiny stage at The Rovers Return (Club Brenda) in 2007.


Islington Mill was literally the home of Ivor Novello-winning electro duo, The Ting Tings, Katie White and Jules De Martino, who met there, lived there and worked behind the bar, before the Number One single, That’s Not My Name, and the Number One album, We Started Nothing, hit the globe.  

“Working at the Mill gave us a very honest and very motivated platform” they recall “There was so much to learn from other artists working across the yard. What was really inspiring was seeing how many of the other artists were engaging with each other, still very connected to the outside world…It helped us understand art, our art and how to feel much more comfortable around it. Undoubtedly it gave us confidence to expose our work that otherwise may have gone unnoticed. We were able to indulge into art we never thought we could be a part of. For the first time in our creative lives it felt like everything was possible and not just in our minds.”

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