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Historic canalside landmark to host free family event

One of Blackburn’s most iconic buildings, Daisyfield Mill on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal, is opening its doors to an event for all the family to enjoy.

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These events will open up the mill to the public and showcase this wonderful building, firstly as a fantastic part of the town’s heritage, but also as a great place for office space.
Joanna Bryan

We're holding two days of free activities on Friday 12 and Saturday 13 April to celebrate the new multi-use venue and collaborative arts, digital arts and cultural programme. Activities will include interactive tours, live street art, performances and canalside walks.

The two day exhibition will include a spectacular piece of floating work by Joe Rush, director of Mutoid Waste Company, famous for building giant welded sculptures from waste materials and for customising scrap cars. The giant ‘robotic toad' which is made from two VW cars, which featured in the London 2012 Paralympic Games closing ceremony, will be floated along the Leeds & Liverpool Canal from Eanam Wharf and will be moored outside the mill.

Robotic toad

Other activities will include: a pop-up coffee shop serving delicious locally produced food and drinks, a reading room from Rebound Books and an art exhibition from Blackburn University College.

The mill along the Leeds & Liverpool Canal dates back to around 1878 and was originally built as a corn mill by Joseph Appleby & Sons. When the canal trade declined the mill was purchased by Graham & Brown wallpaper manufacturers. It was more recently used by Granada TV until we bought the property in 2006.

Joanna Bryan, senior estates surveyor for the Trust said: “Daisyfield Mill is a fantastic building with so much history. These events will open up the mill to the public and showcase this wonderful building, firstly as a fantastic part of the town's heritage, but also as a great place for office space. It's also an opportunity to launch our new multi-use venue space and we have been working with an arts programmer, Sue Ball, Media and Arts Partnership to establish an artist in residence who will help to bring the mill back to life.”

Breath-taking sculptures

Sue Ball, Director of Media and Arts Partnership, who is working with the Canal & River Trust to programme the event adds: “We are developing a new approach at Daisyfield Mill that uses the arts to re-invigorate the building and its canalside location, bringing people to the Mill to enjoy its spaces which have been taken over by artists and performers especially for this event.

"Commissioning an artist-in-residence, Bodie Cameron, and inviting Mutoid Waste Company whose breath-taking sculptures were central to the visual impact of the Paralympics finale event, we will create new ways for businesses and visitors to value and enjoy Daisyfield Mill and its amenities.

“We are delighted to be devising the programme in partnership with Blackburn's dynamic arts and social enterprise scene, which includes Bootstrap Enterprise, Action Factory, Blackburn College's University Centre and somewhereto_ , and we envisage the Mill fast-becoming an important hub in Blackburn for the arts and creative industry sectors.”

The family event will run on Friday 12 and Saturday 13 April between 11am – 5pm. For further information visit

Last Edited: 10 April 2013

photo of a location on the canals
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