Proposals are being unveiled to transform a derelict spinning mill which was ravaged by fire.
People can have their say on initial plans to restore and convert Waterside Mill in Bacup into apartments and business premises at a public consultation on May 17.
Rossendale Council has been working with Valley Heritage to find a sustainable solution for the 179-year-old building which has fallen into a severe state of disrepair since a major fire in 2003.
The public consultation is part of Valley Heritage’s bid for Heritage Lottery Funding to repair the Burnley Road mill, make it stable and develop detailed proposals for its future.
Stephen Anderson, chairman of the heritage group which is made up of volunteers, urged people to attend and have their say on the “exciting” plans. He said:
Over the past three years we have been working closely with Rossendale Council and other partners, including Historic England, to do everything we can to secure the future of Waterside Mill. Although it is a challenging building and it will take considerable time and investment to save it, we hope that the proposals demonstrate the potential the mill has to become a positive part of Bacup’s future.
Rossendale Council carried out emergency works on the mill in 2015. It has also started the process of a compulsory purchase order to buy the Grade II listed building.
Councillor Andy MacNae, Portfolio holder for Regeneration, Leisure and Tourism, said:
We recognise the impact that the mill’s poor condition is having on the area and we are committed to finding a solution. We are grateful to our partners at Valley Heritage and Historic England for the support, time and funds they have contributed to this complex and challenging project.
Charles Smith, assistant North West planning director at Historic England, added:
Mill buildings are a key part of the history of the North of England. Equally, they have an important part of play in its future, accommodating housing, commercial or cultural spaces.
Waterside Mill is located at the heart of the one of the best preserved industrial towns in England so we support Rossendale Council and Valley Heritage’s efforts to save the building, and we welcome the plans to bring it back into use.
The public consultation takes place at St John’s the Evangelist Church, Burnley Road, Bacup from 3pm to 7pm. People will be able to talk to representatives from Valley Heritage, the council, Historic England and Buttress Architects.
Rossendale Borough Council News: here.