Leeds and Liverpool Canal gets £2m. arts funding

Horse drawn barge is pulled along the banks of Leeds Liverpool Canal. Pictured at Burnley Wharf.

Horse drawn barge is pulled along the banks of Leeds Liverpool Canal. Pictured at Burnley Wharf.

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Burnley’s stretch of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal is set to be the centrepiece of a creative corridor for the arts.

The Canal and River Trust has been awarded £2m. of funding from Arts Council England’s Creative people and places programme to produce world-class arts events.

Burnley’s stretch of the famous canal includes the iconic “straight mile” and runs through the town’s historic Weavers’ Triangle mill area.

Over the next 10 years, local people will be involved in planning and producing arts projects that have roots in the waterway communities they pass through. Ideas include festivals, screenings, performance, environmental arts projects, temporary digital installations, exhibitions and pop-up cultural spaces.

Burnley Council’s Executive member for leisure and culture, Coun. John Harbour, said: “This funding announcement is brilliant news for Burnley. The canal goes through our historical mills in the Weavers’ Triangle, is raised above the town centre on the embankment, and travels through our parks and neighbourhoods.

“Having commissions in all these areas, chosen by the community for the community, is an exciting concept for the town and we’re looking forward to supporting it.”

Pennine Lancashire’s waterways played a starring role in the Industrial Revolution and are part of the nation’s industrial heritage.

The aim is for it to become known for miles around as a place of heritage, culture and leisure.

The Canal and River Trust is working with Pennine Lancashire (APPL), Barnfield Construction Limited and Groundwork Pennine Lancashire, to deliver a three-year programme of arts projects, stretching from Blackburn to Brierfield along the canal.

The funding comes from Arts Council England’s Creative People and Places programme.

Steven Broomhead, chairman of the Canal and River Trust’s North West Waterway Partnership, said: “We need support to help take care of our 200-year old canals. We hope that this funding will bring world-class art to the heart of Pennine Lancashire and encourage people to take pride in the canals that form such an important part of the community, attracting visitors from across the country and beyond.”