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News article created on 27 October 2014

Historic Burnley canal wharf secures National Lottery Funding

A historic disused canal wharf in Burnley’s Weavers Triangle conservation area is to be rescued and restored thanks to £2 million of earmarked funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Finsley Gate Wharf, known locally as Mile Wharf, is one of the oldest wharves on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal and includes three listed warehouses, a listed canal cottage, outbuilding, former blacksmith forge and boat slipway, dating from between 1700 and 1830.

HLF’s initial development funding award of £262,500, supplemented by £26,800 from us, will enable emergency repair work to be carried out to stabilise the buildings from further deterioration. The grant will also allow us to commission a building restoration schedule, business plan and an activity plan to develop educational and volunteering opportunities at the site. This information will be submitted to HLF for assessment to secure the full grant of £2 million.

Part of the Weavers Triangle conservation area, this funding will revitalise Mile Wharf through the creation of new local enterprises including a boat repair yard, restaurant, rental cottage and moorings.

Impressive restoration

Canal & River Trust enterprise manager Nick Smith said: “The impressive restoration of the Weavers Triangle area has attracted national attention, including visits from the Queen and our patron Prince of Wales. This wonderful collection of historic canal buildings have been vacant for the last fifteen years and both the Trust and the HLF are very keen to see these historic buildings preserved and brought back into use again as a commercial enterprise.”

This grant has been awarded through HLF’s Heritage Enterprise programme which has been designed to specifically help, when the cost of restoring an historic building is so high that without additional financial intervention, putting it back into use would not be commercially viable.

Explaining the importance of the HLF support, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund North West, Sara Hilton said: “At the Heritage Lottery Fund we recognise the huge financial challenges facing historic buildings like those at Finsley Gate. Our Heritage Enterprise funding will plug the financial gap to enable Finsley Gate to become a productive part of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal again.”