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Over 300 years
of paper production

A paper mill was first established in Sittingbourne in 1708 with first records of a paper mill at the current site dating back to 1769, the period in which modern wove paper had been innovated. In 1863, the Mill was taken over by Edward Lloyd and family, owners of the Daily Chronicle newspaper and in 1876 construction of the Mill as it is known commenced.

Sittingbourne Mill

In 1889 Edward Lloyd introduced a horse-drawn tramway to carry materials from Milton Creek to the Mill. With paper production growing rapidly, between 1904 and 1906 the tramway was replaced by a steam railway on what is now known as the Sittingbourne & Kemsley Light Railway.

As the Mill expanded and silt began to build up on the banks of Milton Creek, it became necessary to extend the railway to Ridham Dock so that raw materials could be brought in by barges and ships. By 1914, sales of the Daily Chronicle exceeded the combined sales of The Times, The Daily Telegraph and the Evening Standard, making the Mill the world’s largest, with its 1,200 employees using 17 machines to make over 2000 tonnes of paper per week.

In 1924, Frank Lloyd built a new factory at Kemsley along with a new village to house employees. When he died in 1927, Edward Lloyd Ltd was taken over by the Berry Brothers until it was sold to Bowaters in 1937, forming the Bowater-Lloyd Group. In 1986, UK Paper completed a management buy out and the site was split in two with part of the operation sold to St Regis. The sites were later sold to Fletcher Challenge before being sold to Finnish paper maker M-Real in 1998. M-Real decided to close the Mill in 2007 paving the way for its redevelopment.

Content Last Updated: 1st February 2011