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Millbank is an area of central London in the City of Westminster. Millbank is located by the River Thames, east of Pimlico and south of Westminster. The area derives its name from a mill house belonging to nearby Westminster Abbey.
Millbank's general appearance dates from the 1930s, when the area was extensively rebuilt to repair damage caused by the 1928 Thames flood disaster, following the collapse of a 25-metre-long section of the Thames Embankment.
Millbank shares the name of the main road (A3212) along the north bank of the River Thames, extending northwards from Vauxhall Bridge to Abingdon Street, just south from Parliament Square. There are parliamentary offices situated across this road, notably No.7, built as the headquarters of British American Tobacco. The road was created as part of the Thames Embankment in the mid 19th century and lies above a large interceptor sewer.
The former Royal Army Medical College, situated at Millbank, is the site where the vaccine for typhoid was first developed, and in the late 19th century, was where the world's first modern prison (Millbank Prison) was established. The listed site has since been renovated as a purpose built arts college for the Chelsea College of Art and Design in 2005. The Tate Britain art gallery (former Tate Gallery) is directly opposite near the end of Vauxhall Bridge, providing a distinct arts presence in the area.
The headquarters of the British chemicals giant ICI was originally located at Imperial Chemical House on Millbank (The Smith Square entrance of which was called Nobel House) before it relocated to Manchester Square, also situated in London. The headquarters for the Northern Ireland Office, MI5 and Thames House are also nearby.
Millbank Studios reside in the area as an independent broadcast company, owned by ITV. The studio is situated opposite the Houses of Parliament. The BBC Parliament broadcasting channel is also situated nearby (intended to broadcast parliamentary and general political coverage on behalf of the BBC). No.4 is the location commonly used by broadcasters for producing coverage of the Westminster area, including the BBC, Sky News and ITV. RTÉ News and Current Affairs also have their London bureau at the same location. Neighbouring College Green is used as a setting for interviewing politicians outdoors.
Millbank Estate is a large but highly regarded Grade II-listed red-brick housing estate that gives the area behind Tate Britain a distinct character. The estate was built between 1897 and 1902, the bricks being recycled from Millbank Prison, which had closed in 1890. The 17 buildings, comprising one of London's earliest social housing schemes, are named after distinguished painters such as Turner, Gainsborough, Millais, etc. The estate has 562 flats, all managed on behalf of Westminster City Council by MEMO, the largest tenant management organisation in Westminster. The estate's management board is elected annually from the resident population. Half of the estate's flats are private leaseholds, the other half are rented from Westminster City Council. The estate's buildings are maintained by a regular works program.
Hide Tower is a 20-storey building of 162 flats with an extensive garden, a mini-golf facility and a community hall. Approximately a quarter of the accommodation is privately rented; half is rented from Westminster City Council and the remainder is owner-occupied. The name was derived from the "hide", an old English land measure (used in the Domesday Survey of 1086).
Millbank Tower is a large, modernistic office complex between the River Thames, Millbank Estate and Tate Britain Gallery. Before the 1997 General Election, the Labour Party acquired two floors of the building as its headquarters. The £1 million annual rent, however, forced the party to vacate the tower in 2001 for 16 Old Queen Street, Westminster. In British politics, the term 'Millbank Machine' or 'Millbank tendency' (a play on 'Militant tendency') has been linked with the activities of spin doctors. The Conservative Party currently has its headquarters, CCHQ based in the tower. It has several restaurants and a public garden.
The nearest London Underground stations are Westminster, Pimlico and Victoria. London Victoria station is also a National Rail mainline terminus with an adjacent national coach station. Waterloo and Charing Cross stations are also nearby. Millbank is well connected with the rest of Central London and districts south of the river by bus services such as number 87, 88, C10, 507, 2, 36, 365 and 185.
- Millbank Conservation Area – Westminster City Council, January 2005, accessed 6 August 2012
- Damage to the area, including the Tate, from the 1928 Thames flood
- "Guide to Media Contacts and Addresses". Press for Change. Retrieved 11 May 2010.
- "Day at Millbank". TV Newsroom. Retrieved 11 May 2010.
- "Sky News Radio Sole National News Supplier to UK Commercial Stations". Sky News Press Office. Retrieved 11 May 2010.
- "RTÉ Studios". RTÉ.ie. Retrieved 11 May 2010.