Built in the early 20C by flour company Spillers, the Art Deco landmark has stood vacant since the decline of the docks as a working port in the 1980s.
Boy Blue and Royal Docks
Boy Blue, an east London based Street Dance company, explore ideas and questions around London’s identity and history, challenging the old ways with the new in a solo piece filmed in the historic Millennium Mills. With musical composition by Michael ‘Mikey J’ Asante, choreography by Kenrick ‘H20’ Sandy and creative direction from them both. The film is commissioned by the Royal Docks Team and is launching as part of Open House Festival.
The film will be launched on 26th September and available to view at www.royaldocks.london
Founded in London in 2001, Boy Blue is the award-winning brainchild of composer Michael ‘Mikey J’ Asante and choreographer Kenrick ‘H2O’ Sandy MBE.
Weaving frontline stage and screen work around the elevation of hip-hop culture, Boy Blue have created works that include Pied Piper (2007), The Five & The Prophecy of Prana (2013), Blak Whyte Gray (2017), Outliers (2018) and REDD (2019). Film work includes R.E.B.E.L, and Emancipation of Expressionism, a set work of the GCSE Dance syllabus.
Boy Blue run a highly respected dance training programme in east London and teach, train and mentor throughout the UK and internationally.
Royal Docks Enterprise Zone: The Royal Docks Enterprise Zone is a joint project between the Mayor of London, the London Borough of Newham, led by Mayor Rokhsana Fiaz, and the London Economic Action Partnership (LEAP). It has the potential to deliver 35,000 jobs, 4,000 new homes and more than £5 billion of inward investment by 2037/38. As London’s only Enterprise Zone, the Royal Docks has a special government designation that means new business rates.
The original Millennium Mills building was designed and built in 1905 by William Vernon & Sons. Consisting of two plants, the ‘palatial’ mills, as William Vernon described them, were capable of producing 100 sacks of flour an hour.
The mills were badly damaged in 1917 by a major explosion at Brunner Mond’s munitions factory that was manufacturing explosives for use in the First World War. The explosion was so powerful that it reputedly blew out the windows of the Savoy Hotel in central London and could be heard as far away as Norfolk.
In 1933, Millennium Mills was rebuilt as a 10-storey art deco concrete building. The docklands came under heavy attack during the Blitz of the Second World War, with considerable damage sustained by both Millennium Mills and Rank’s neighbouring Premier Mills building. After the war, the ports underwent large-scale reconstruction, with the new building being operational by September 1953.
In 1988, Jean Michel Jarre used the site as the backdrop for his live project ‘Destination Docklands’.
More recently it has also been used in music videos for the likes of The Smiths, Orbital, Arctic Monkeys, Snow Patrol, and Coldplay.
It has also been used as a filming location in Silent Witness, Ashes to Ashes, Spiderman: Homecoming & Paddington 2 amongst others.