Rossendale’s Heritage United

Published July 11, 2023 at 8:48

Helmshore textile mill

A group has revived a network first set up in the 1990’s to bring people together to celebrate and promote Rossendale’s rich heritage. 

Rossendale Heritage Network – a flexible network allows members to dip into it as and when they can and to a level, they are comfortable with. 

Councillor Annie McMahon Rossendale Borough Council’s Heritage Champion said: “We’re so lucky to have so much social history and heritage across our gorgeous valley – from the mills of the industrial revolution; our weavers’ cottages and working looms to the Valley of Stone celebrating our stone quarrying history and our shoe industry. 

“After visiting many of these sites and getting to know some of the incredibly dedicated and passionate individuals who take care of our history and heritage, we decided that it was sensible for us all to get together to share our experiences, resources and ideas – Heritage United!” 

“So, we reformed Rossendale Heritage Network – a flexible network where members can meet up to share news, ideas, celebrate successes, help with problems or if people prefer just receive the mailing list to keep up to date with what’s going on in Rossendale. An added attraction of a Network also means we can work together and tap into wider and higher funding sources than is available if everyone was working independently.” 

The network hopes to meet on a three-monthly basis at a different venue each month allowing network members to showcase their own projects to the wider group. 

The last meeting was held in the Whittaker Museum and Art Gallery with Gaynor Seville, Creative Director, taking members on a tour of the Whitaker. This was followed by Caroline Beardmore on volunteering in the Heritage industry.

the whitaker art museum

David Smurthwaite, Rossendale Borough Councils Director of Economic Development Council also spoke on how Rossendale’s Heritage can link in with Economic Development of the valley as a whole. 

David said: “Heritage and heritage sites have become increasingly important to towns and cities across the country. They serve as invaluable treasures, not only preserving the rich tapestry of our past but also help fuel an area’s economic development, fostering a vibrant visitor economy within a region. 

“We’re lucky in Rossendale that we have so many fantastic sites that possess the power to captivate and attract visitors from near and far, injecting vitality into local businesses and communities. 

“The economic benefits are manifold, heritage sites create employment opportunities, stimulate tourism-related industries, and generate revenue. In addition, their presence enhances the overall appeal of an area, making it an enticing destination for both visitors and businesses. By recognising and nurturing the value of heritage sites, we can unlock a powerful engine for sustainable economic growth which has got to be a good thing for everyone.” 

picture of renovated building

Annie added:” We’re very excited with our plans and hope to raise the profile of our heritage here in Rossendale as well as further afield. 

“With support and guidance from the Economic Development team at the council, we want the Heritage Network to play an active role and to be able to contribute to the economy of Rossendale.” 

If you would like more information about Rossendale Heritage Network and/or would like to join – you can contact : Annie McMahon or via Stephanie Thornton 

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