The grandfather of skyscrapers has been saved for the nation.
The Ditherington Flax Mill in Shrewsbury is the world's first steel-framed building and the forerunner of the modern skyscraper.
Built in 1797, its fireproof combination of cast iron columns and cast iron beams developed into the modern steel frame which made skyscrapers possible.
Despite its global importance, the mill has stood empty since 1987 and was considered to be one of the most important buildings at risk of neglect and decay in the country.
But it has now been saved from years of neglect after it was bought by English Heritage thanks to a grant from Advantage West Midlands.
English Heritage, Advantage West Midlands and Shrewsbury and Atcham Borough Council will be working together to establish what conservation work is needed and the most pressing repairs and security works will be carried out as a priority.
At the same time, a developer will be sought to take forward the regeneration of the site which is likely to include a mix of residential, business, community and heritage uses. Public access to the building's remarkable interior will form part of the plan.
Sir Neil Cossons, chairman of English Heritage, said: "Ditherington Flax Mill is an outstanding building of international importance and one of the most significant monuments of the Industrial Revolution.
"It is one of those rare structures that changed the world of construction and design. With its revolutionary iron frame it was the predecessor of the modern skyscraper. To see it in its current state, lying decayed and neglected, windows smashed and roof leaking is little short of scandalous.
"But the neglect ends here thanks to vital funding from Advantage West Midlands, English Heritage has at long last been able to secure the future of this internationally important building.
"By bringing in a specialist private sector developer we are confident that the Flax Mill will be saved for the nation."