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Padiham heritage project takes step forward

Release date: 
Wednesday, 21 March, 2018

A lottery-funded project aimed at protecting and preserving Padiham’s heritage has taken a further step forward.

Burnley Council has appointed a development officer to lead the town’s Townscape Heritage Initiative.

Padiham celebrated after a successful bid, which was led by the council and supported by local people and organisations, for £1.4 million of Heritage Lottery funding. A further £600,000 of contributions from the council and private partners will make the total committed to the project up to £2 million.

The Padiham Townscape Heritage scheme, Crafting the Future, will help protect the town centre’s historic buildings. It will also help support work to create an area of special architectural and historic interest and making the town more attractive for residents, workers and visitors.

The council has now appointed Suzanne Pickering as the scheme’s development officer to lead the five-year programme.

Suzanne, who previously worked at Blackburn with Darwen Council, will oversee the day-to-day management of the heritage initiative, which will focus on a compact area of mostly Victorian buildings at the heart of the conservation area, known locally as “The Hill.”

The programme aims to bring back traditional life and vitality to this area of the town by:

- overseeing the repair and restoration of eligible historic buildings through a grant programme

- carrying out environmental improvements, such as introducing traffic calming, pavement resurfacing and public art enhancments

- working with local partners to deliver a wider activity programme, including community events and heritage skills training

- support regeneration and business development throughout the town centre by celebrating all things home made in Padiham. This will include the development of a marketing strategy “Homemade on the High Street” to build on the growing cluster of creative businesses and draw on Padiham's heritage and connections to the Rachel Kay-Shuttleworth and Gawthorpe Textiles Collection.

Burnley Council worked with local businesses, Padiham Town Council, residents and other interested organisations on the bid. Earlier this year the council asked local people to help shape a conservation area management plan which was a key part of the successful bid.

Suzanne said: “I’m looking forward to working with Padiham residents and local groups to meet this new challenge. Padiham has a wonderful heritage centre that needs preserving for future generations.

“We want to create an attractive centre that brings in more visitors and shoppers and that looks to the future as much as the past. It’s also about inspiring the local community to find out more about their local heritage, and give people the chance to learn new skills.”

Councillor John Harbour, the council’s deputy leader and “heritage champion”, added: “Getting Suzanne on board as development officer to lead the day-to-day running of this exciting initiative is another step towards making our plans a reality.

“This is a long-term scheme and we’re committed to making sure we keep up the momentum, building on the success of our lottery bid and the work done so far. Local people, businesses and groups have enthusiastically backed this project and we will continue to work with them to improve Padiham.”

The council worked with a number of key partners in the successful bid, including Lancashire County Council, Gawthorpe Textile Collection, Fixhub, Padiham Archives, landscape architects Planit, Buttress Architects and Padiham Town Council.

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