IT was once home to hundreds of textile workers, helping to put Scotland on the map at the height of the industrial revolution.

Now historic Crofthead Mill could be the right price.

The most iconic building in Neilston has gone up for sale as current owners – haulage firm J&M Murdoch – plan to move out.

Crofthead is one of the oldest mill structures left standing in Scotland.

With a history dating back to 1792, it was one of seven large mills along the banks of the River Levern, between Neilston and Dovecothall.

However, the thread mill ceased production in 1992, resulting in major redundancies and the bulk of production being moved to a factory in Newton Mearns.

Since then, it has mostly lain empty, although part of the site is still in use as a base for J&M Murdoch.

Following years of speculation about the dilapidated site being transformed into a hotel, residential and retail development, a new buyer is now being sought.

The complex comprises four main buildings, ranging from four to six storeys in height, with a large yard and car parking areas.

John Murdoch, managing director of J&M Murdoch, said the decision to sell is due to his business expanding.

He said: “We need a bigger site. We’ve been at the mill for 20 years and, with how we’ve grown, it’s become really tight for space.

“We don’t have another site in mind yet but I would like to stay in the local area, for the benefit of our employees.

“We’ve been approached once or twice in the past about developing the buildings but it never came to anything. We’re not developers ourselves, so it would always have required someone else coming in.

“Personally, I would love to see it developed and brought back into full use. It’s such an important building for Neilston.”

While most of the old mill buildings across the region have been demolished, revival projects such as the one at historic Anchor Mill, in Paisley, have shown they can be brought back into use.

That Grade-A listed building, which closed in 1980, underwent an £11million refurbishment through the Prince’s Foundation in 2003 to create 60 flats and a business unit.

Estate agents GVA have not put a value on Crofthead Mill, saying only that offers are invited, but have stressed it is suitable for a wide range of uses.

East Renfrewshire Council has said it is supportive of the restoration and redevelopment of Crofthead Mill and its surroundings but will insist that any development should include the restoration of the main buildings at the site.

The local authority will also insist on a mixture of uses, including business and residential, with affordable housing provision, as well as ‘sustainable and attractive’ use of the watercourse currently running beneath the site.

Councillor Paul O’Kane, who represents Newton Mearns North and Neilston, said: “The mill has always been an important part of Neilston’s industrial history, so it would be great to see that continue.

“People in Neilston will rightly be watching with interest to see what the future holds.”