Burnley’s iconic Queen Street Mill Textile Museum will close today as talks continue over its long-term future.
The historic mill, home to the world’s last remaining steam-powered looms, was one of a number of museums and libraries as a result of huge government cuts.
Lancashire County Council, which previously administered the museum, revealed it was still continuing talks with a number of groups interested in taking over the running of the mill.
The Burnley Express can also reveal that the nearby Briercliffe Library, which also closes today, could in future be run by volunteers from Briercliffe Parish Council and the Briercliffe Society.
Esteemed local historian and member of both groups, Coun. Roger Frost, said: “I have been told that four groups have expressed an interest in running Queen Street mill.
“I sincerely hope it can be kept open because it is unique and in my mind should be a world heritage site.
“Regarding the library, there’s a possibility that any future resource could be located within the mill building.
“Volunteers are prepared to run the library and we could also utilise the vast archive material of the Briercliffe Society as a local history resource.
“We have books and photographs referring not just to Briercliffe, but to the whole of East Lancashire, as well as material going back to the last century. We’d like this to be available to the public.”
Lancashire County Council has promised to make a grant of up to £5,000 to organisations who have confirmed they will take over the running of museums and libraries.
Meanwhile, a skeleton staff will be maintained in the buildings, and any library resources will be retained if new parties take over.