Boot Factory Restoration and Upgrade

boot factory render

We’re restoring and upgrading the Boot Factory and Mill Hill Community Centre. Breathing new life into the buildings, we are transforming the Mill Hill Centre and former shoe making factory into an Innovation and Knowledge Hub that includes a new Community and Seniors Centre, multi-purposes community spaces, a cafe and revitalised courtyard.

It will also host our first Thinker in Residence pilot program which aims to innovate and engage with the Waverley community in addressing priority environmental issues in sustainability, climate resilience and circular economy.

Restoring the historic Boot Factory

Following a successful development application process in May 2020, Council started the restoration of the Boot Factory in April 2021.

The upgrade includes:

  • The Mill Hill Community Centre and Boot Factory will be connected, providing an opportunity to share facilities including the lift.
  • A café at the Spring Street entry to the precinct with street and courtyard presence.
  • Upgraded Community and Seniors Centre
  • Flexible community spaces on the ground floor and top floor of the Boot Factory and the Mill Hill Community Centre
  • Upgrades to Norman Lee Place

Restoration began with works to the roof, masonry perimeter walls, new floors and a new interior fit-out.

Once this was complete, we turned focus to connecting the building to the Mill Hill Community Centre (to provide lift access and amenities for Boot Factory users) and will beautify the courtyard at Norman Lee Place.

What is the future for the site?

The Waverley Community Strategic Plan 2018-2029 (CSP) notes the community’s wish for Waverley to be a “knowledge-driven, innovative and digitally connected community”.
Residents said they wanted opportunities to:

  • foster digital innovation
  • improve use of Mill Hill to support innovation
  • develop innovation hubs
  • use multiple channels to communicate with, engage with and inform residents
  • ensure that Waverley Library keeps pace with the knowledge economy.

The Boot Factory's future started here and was then reflected in the Operational Plan 2018/19 where Council said they would create an innovative space for business incubation and knowledge transfer.


The Boot Factory, a former shoemaking factory at the rear of Norman Lee Place at 27-33 Spring Street was completed in 1892 by William Sidaway and Son and was last restored by Council in 1986. It has been vacant since 2007, and in 2013, Council undertook significant remedial structural works to ensure the stability of the building until an alternative use could be found.

Boot Factory, 1911

Reviving the Boot Factory

The Boot Factory is being restored and delivered back to the community and will include an Innovation and Knowledge Hub (Hub) where we can nurture ideas to further transform Waverley into a ‘smart city’ of the future.

The Waverley Innovation & Knowledge Hub Steering Group has, and will continue, to assist in guiding the development of the Hub and its policies and practices. The Steering Group consists of Three Lawson Ward Councilors, a local community representative from the Mill Hill Bondi Junction Precinct and up to five practitioners with relevant expertise in Heritage Conservation, Adaptive Reuse, Library Futures, Maker Spaces, Futurists or Innovation Spaces.

Boot Factory, 1911

Capital Works Map

View locations of Council’s capital works projects for 2020-2021, as well as timing of works and contact information

Need more information?

Matt Henderson, Senior Project Manager

9083 8000

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