Cabinet asked to consider more support to secure the future of historic mills in Lancashire

Thursday, July 04, 2019

Lancashire County Council is proposing to continue to invest in the future of two of the most important industrial heritage sites in the country – Queen Street Mill in Burnley and Helmshore Mills Textile Museum in Rossendale.

A report to the council's Cabinet at its meeting on Thursday 11 July recommends approving additional funding, whilst the partnership led by the county council and the National Trust continues to explore options.

Ways in which the mills can generate income and minimise costs while also conserving the buildings and collections, and providing public benefit, are also being considered by the partnership.

Grade I listed Queen Street Mill, which was featured in The King's Speech and in Mike Leigh's Peterloo, is the last surviving steam powered weaving mill in the world.

Helmshore Mills, made up of Higher Mill and Whitaker's Mill, are the only mills to still have their original working machinery in situ, with visitors able to see how raw wool and cotton were transformed into yarn ready for cloth to be woven more than a century ago.

The county council and the National Trust currently have a memorandum of understanding to work together to find solutions for the future of the mills, which were reopened to the public by the council after a short period of closure due to budget cuts.

This will enable potential operators or partners, including local community groups and businesses, to understand how they can be part of the future of the mills.

Julie Bell, head of libraries, museums, culture and archives at Lancashire County Council, said: "We are continuing to explore all options to safeguard their long-term futures.

"They are nationally significant assets and are a crucial part of Lancashire’s heritage and Britain’s industrial revolution.

"The extra funding will make sure that the museums can remain open, allowing people to enjoy and appreciate their immense cultural and historical significance."

More information about the museums is available at


Tagged as: Leisure and Culture Libraries and Archives

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