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£25m vision outlined for East Lancashire landmark
6:00am Tuesday 3rd December 2013 in News
A NEW marina, hotel and climbing centre form the centrepiece of a £25million vision for an East Lancashire landmark.
Brierfield Mill, now known as North Light, would also offer a rooftop plaza giving unrivalled views of Pendle Hill, according to supporters of ambitious proposals for the grade II listed former industrial heartland.
Coun Joe Cooney, leader of Pendle Council, told the Lancashire Telegraph that ultimately the regeneration of the old Smith and Nephew site will cost around £25million.
But an investment of just £5million - possibly from the likes of the Heritage Lottery Fund or Regional Growth Fund - would kickstart the major overhaul.
Coun Cooney said: “The plans will help people to see how Brierfield Mill has huge potential to become a vibrant new working, living and cultural quarter of regional significance.”
And he is hopeful of success after Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson made out the case for the mill with both Sara Hilton, head of the north west arm of the lottery fund, and Housing and Local Growth Minister Mark Prisk.
The proposals echo Burnley Council’s hopes for the former Weavers’ Triangle - and the housing and retail elements reflect, respectively, Lob Lane Mill and Hollin Bank Mill, which were once part of the same complex.
Once the blueprints are publicised, and also go online, the authority is hopeful potential partners and funders will be attracted.
The venue was acquired by Pendle Council using a £1.5million Homes and Communities Agency grant last year and a new arm of their development arrangement with Barnfield Construction, PEARL (Brierfield Mill) Ltd, was formed.
London-based David Morley Architects has been selected to produce the masterplan for the North Light venture. The name was chosen to reflect the structural feature of many northern weaving mills.
Much of the main mill will be devoted to a business centre, under the scheme, with an activity and climbing centre pencilled in for the former gasworks next door.
The canalside extension would be split between apartments, a restaurant and shops at one end, and a hotel at the other.
But the most striking feature is a new 50-berth canal basin, next to the hotel and served by a new pub.
Land between Glen Way and the canal has been sectioned off as a ‘performance space’ or an outdoor ‘climbing zone’.
Architect Chris Roberts, who drew up the masterplan, said: “The name North Light is a stroke of genius. I instantly thought it was a great name. It can run through the whole design process.”
Tim Webber, Barnfield’s managing director, said the masterplan had been designed to be sympathetic with the mill’s heritage.
He said: “But it also includes striking contemporary features which will make this a thriving new destination for the whole region.”
The first mill building was constructed by Henry Tunstill in 1834 and at its height the site was home to 80,000 spindles and 3,800 looms. BSN Medical, the latterday successor to Smith and Nephew, ceased production there in 2007.
The old mill was earmarked for an international Muslim girls’ college until a Birmingham charity was told the plans were not within its remit.
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