Lottery boost for former church

Published July 25, 2018 at 11:52

The council has welcomed a £10,000 lottery grant to help transform a former church in the heart of Bacup into a heritage, arts and cultural centre.

Local heritage charity CAST has secured the funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund to breathe new life into St John the Evangelist Church, Burnley Road.

The project is the brainchild of Freddy Khattab who owns and lives in part of the Grade II listed building.

He said:

It is a building of great heritage, architecture and history which I am honoured to have as my home.

Since moving to Lancashire in 2015, I have been inspired by many stories from people who used to worship at St John’s. From this, and the passion I have for the church, I felt that it would be a rewarding and fantastic journey to once again open it up for the community and visitors to enjoy events and the wonderful new landscaped garden.

The Heritage Lottery Fund grant will allow Mr Khattab to establish a not-for-profit-organisation, made up to people who work and live in the area, to deliver the project.

While that organisation is being formed, Community Assets Standing Tall (CAST) applied for the Lottery grant and is also providing administrative support and training. Valley Heritage will provide architectural and specialist heritage advice.

CAST chairman June Worsley added:

We are looking forward to helping the new organisation receive the correct training and support it needs to achieve a new heritage arts and culture centre for the community, and be equipped with the skills and knowledge needed to secure the further funding to turn this dream into a reality

This will be a great opportunity for volunteers who are interested in or want to learn more about Rossendale’s heritage.

Rossendale Council supported the Heritage Lottery Fund application.

Council Leader Alyson Barnes said:

This project complements the council’s £2 million Townscape Heritage Initiative to regenerate Bacup town centre by restoring and refurbishing shopfronts, bringing vacant floor space back into use and making improvements for pedestrians.

Bacup has a real need for a community facility for workshops, events and activities. The restoration of this lovely church would have a positive impact on the town and would attract visitors from Rossendale and further afield.

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