As part of BBC Radio Lancashires Arts&Craft segment, myself and artist, Ruth Evans, were invited to talk about the Irwell Tapestry. aired at 7.30am on Saturday 31st March and Monday 2nd April catch it on BBC iPlayer now!
What is the THI Project?Find out more
What is the THI Project?
The Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI) is a grant scheme funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to refurbish buildings in historic town centres. The scheme includes property improvements, public realm enhancement, skills training and community engagement events.
In 2013 Rossendale Borough Council was successful in securing £2m funding through the HLF for a 5 year regeneration project which will focus on Bacup’s unique built and cultural heritage.
To find out more and view the latest updates and on the progress of the project please click here. The project is managed by Rossendale Borough Council. You can find all the latest Council news, including news on the THI Project, here.
Which Buildings are in the Project?Find out more
How can I Contact the THI?Contact Us
How can I Contact the THI?
If you have any questions about the THI, wish to attend or volunteer for events and upcoming projects, or simply wish to share interesting stories or facts about Bacup’s history and heritage then please contact us by filling in the ‘stay informed’ details or email directly and we’ll get back in touch.
You can also arrange an appointment with the THI Project Officer to discuss the projects progress and up and coming events and activities.
Rossendale Borough Council
Futures Park, Newchurch Road
What is Being Grant Funded?Find out more
What is Being Grant Funded?
Properties in the THI are being restored and improved using appropriate heritage construction techniques. The works being carried out include; replacing unsympathetic shopfronts with new shopfronts based on historic research, building repairs and reinstatement of architectural details (e.g. reinstating timber sash windows, stonework repair, repairing stone slate roofs and chimney stacks, repairing traditional gutters and cast iron rainwater pipes), and in some cases carrying out internal structural repairs.
Property owners who participate in the scheme will receive a grant of up to 90% of the costs of carrying out these works. In return they are asked to sign up to Rossendale Council project managing the works using it’s appointed team of conservation architects, quantity surveyors and building contractors. This is to ensure that the works are designed and constructed to an appropriate heritage standard.
What is Happening with the Project?Find out more
What is Happening with the Project?
Phase One of the project has been completed, with some small snagging jobs to finalise. Phase One work included;
- Work to the RSPCA Building(33 St James Street) with fitting new shop front and restoring the chimney stack.
- Work on the Pioneer Building with new shop front, new signage, restoring the clock tower and bringing it back into use after more than 50 years
Works to Phase 2 has also been carried out, which has included transforming the REAL building and also 23-31 St James Street. There are still some final bits to finish but already the shops have had excellent feedback.
Phase 3a and 3bworks are nearing completion and the transformation has been outstading. The shops are evolving on a daily basis.
Here is Steve, from Broxton Signs, using the traditional method of hand painting the sign for D&A Gregory & Sons.
The THI project is also working in partnership with Lancashire County Council to deliver a public realm improvement scheme. Please click here for more information. Currently the Tenders for the scheme are available here and are open to bidding. They are due to close on the 20th April 2018 at 10am.
Watch a short video to hear comments from one of the properties completed in Phase 1 here.
What Activities Are Going On?Find out more
What Activities Are Going On?
Community Engagement: Improving the knowledge and appreciation of the unique history and built heritage of Bacup through providing a wide range of community activities and heritage construct skills training for local people, building owners, local construction professionals and trades-people, is key to the success of the THI.
For example this built heritage is characterised by coursed local stone, stone flagged roofs, prominent chimney stacks, traditional sash windows and distinctive weavers windows. It is important that local building owners and trades-people are aware of the techniques involved in restoring and repairing these features, and that local people are aware of their value, as their loss would have a significant effect on the character of Bacup.
You can get involved in the THI by joining one of our community activity events or heritage skills training courses held throughout each year of the project.
Come and get involved with our next events:
Saturday 2nd June 2018: Black Smith Taster Session at Stubbylee Greenhouses 12pm - 3pm. This is a fantastic opportunity to come and see a working forge, a black smith working using this tradtional skill and also have a go yourself. There are limited places so please email or call the THI Project Officer to book your place. There will also be tea, coffee and a selection of delicious, home made cakes provided by the Cafe. This taster session and the refreshments are free of charge. Depending on the popularity of this course and attendees interest there may be scope to deliver another session or another, more intensive session.
Sunday 3rd June 2018: Family Black Smith Taster Sessions at Stubbylee Greenhouses 11am-12pm and 1pm-2pm. These two short sessions are a great way to get yourself and your family out into the fresh air and into Stubbylee Park. The sessions are purely specatator only and all children MUST be accompanied by an adult. What a great way to spend a Sunday than coming and seeing a forge in real life and a black smith working his craft. A free home made lunch will be provided at the Cafe so please book your place so not to be dissapointed on the day.
Tuesday 19th June 2018: Architecture Walk - with local historian and author Kathy, a tour around Bacup looking at the stunning architecture and history behind it. Bacup has a number of Listed buildings and a rich and diverse heritage, some steeped in fact and others in myth and legend. This walk will provide a facincating insight into the buildings throughout the town centre. An enjoyable way to spend a Summers evening. The walk will start at 6pm. Location to be confimed nearer the date.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in any of the upcoming events or call the THI Project Officer on 01706 252477.
The Irwell Tapestry: There have been a number of fantastic workshops delivered by local artist, Ruth Evans. Working with a diverse range of residents and locals to create a community Masterpiece. The workshops were designed and delivered according to the abilities of the group. To date we have worked with 2nd Rossendale Beavers and Cubs, Britannia Community Primary School, The Youth group at the Maden Centre and Weir Pride to name but a few. Currently, Ruth is working very hard to bring all of the fascinating artwork togther. Participants were encouraged to draw and stitch anytning that is important to them along the banks of the River Irwell from its source in Weir, through Bacup and on into Stacksteads.
Above are some swatches for the Tapestry created by Ruth.
Gravy wrestling on the Irwell Tapestry.
You can find out more about Ruth Evans on her website by clicking here.
The Lancashire Archives Tour: the Lancashire Archives tour set out to introduce attendees to the County Archives resource as well as demonstrating a pracitcal introduction to archiving and research methods. An additonal aim of the tour was to raise awareness of the Archives and engage with more people accessing them. This will have a positve effect in allowing residents and locals to learn more and engage with their history and culture.
By the end of the tour, attendees were secure in how to access the Archives and also the importance in maintaining them and keeping them for future generations.
A representative of the Archives giving a brief tour and an introduction into research methods.
Attendees browsing through the Lancashire Archive resources.
Bacup Reminisce - Oral History: The memories day gave young people the opportunity to interview and engage with the older generation to find out about their shopping habits and how groceries and shopping habits have evolved over the years in Bacup. There are still a number of traditonal shops in Bacup, D&A Gregory & Sons, recently celebrated 50 years in business in March 2018. Conversation was evoked by using a range of different items in their original packaging from different eras.
The cubs asking questions about Bacup to older members of the community.
Public RealmFind out more
Bacup THI Partnership Board and MinutesBacup THI minutes
NewsRead Our News