Funding lifelines for Lancashire landmarks

Iconic Lancashire landmarks including Blackpool's Winter Gardens and Samlesbury Hall have been granted six-figure government assistance while they remain closed to the public.

Winter Gardens is set to receive up to £846,000 from the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage and the Heritage Stimulus Fund which is funded by government and administered at arm’s length by Historic England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Both funds are part of the government’s £1.57bn Culture Recovery Fund which is designed to secure the future of Britain’s museums, galleries, theatres, independent cinemas, heritage sites and music venues.

The funds will be used to help protect and preserve the venue whilst restrictions on mass gatherings remain in place.

Samlesbury Hall, the Grade I listed building built in 1325, will receive £388,000 from the same funding pot. Sharon Jones, director, said: "I am absolutely thrilled that this will see the Hall through these shocking times and keep my fabulous team in jobs. It will also look after the heritage of the Hall should there be any further lockdowns, and enable us to move forward and become more resilient in future years. This really is a lifesaver."

Meanwhile Darwen has received £750,000 from the government's Towns Fund. A third of the money will be invested in a full restoration of the town's Victoria Tower.

The remaining funds will be used to help improve AFC Darwen's Anchor Ground, to upgrade the Junction 4 Skatepark and a feasibility study for a new elite cricket academy at Darwen Vale as the basis for a new sports village.

Wayne Wild, director of the WEC Group and chairman of the town's fundraising efforts, said: "This really is fantastic news for our town.

"There’s been a big community fundraising effort to be able to restore the tower for future generations and this funding will mean the much-needed work will be able to get underway as soon as possible."

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