Theatre at The Mill, set in the imaginatively restored Mossley Mill in Newtownabbey, is bursting at the seams with arts and entertainment.
Connecting the latest modern facilities to the areas historic past the theatre offers unique fun experiences, top quality live performances and nights out with a wide programme of musicals, dance, drama, comedy, concerts, family shows and workshops.
Just 10 minutes from Belfast, off the M2 at Sandknowes Roundabout, the 400 seat professional theatre also has free parking on site, a fully licensed bar and restaurant facilities.
The Mossley site started life as a flax spinning business in 1834, the mill dam and chimney were then created utilising water and steam power to run the mill machinery. The Campbell family purchased the mill in 1859 and continued expanding both the mill and the village, setting up a school, workers’ houses and a sports pavilion.
The former flax spinning mill was saved from demolition when Newtownabbey Borough Council bought it in 1996 and a major restoration and conversion project began. The aim of the development was to retain an important element of local heritage whilst providing a modern and accessible working environment. The first phase of the mill site was officially opened by Prince Charles on 13 June 2000.
Development continued and included the refurbishment of the remaining derelict Mill buildings as well as the construction of the contemporary 400 seat theatre. The idea was to embrace the history of the mill with the excitement of what it would mean for the people of the borough to have access to bigger and better arts and entertainment productions on their own doorstep. Installation of specialist equipment commenced in October 2009 and was installed gradually to ensure that the theatre was fully fitted in time for its opening performance. Theatre at The Mill was completed on 18 December 2009, opening just over a month later on 30 January 2010. The opening of the theatre was marked by a gala night featuring the Ulster Orchestra. The theatres first season commenced a few days later on 2 February 2010 with the opening of the theatre’s own production of Sweeney Todd starring Peter Corry and Nuala Mc Keever. The theatre still continues to go from strength to strength bringing in audiences from across the country and further afield.