Huge £6.5m. Government cash set to transform Colne
The exciting news was announced in Parliament this week as part of the autumn budget.
The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Neil O’Brien MP, sent a letter to Pendle Council confirming the funding for Colne town centre.
He praised the hard work which went into the bid and said:
“You submitted a strong application, which performed well against our assessment criteria, and I was pleased to hear about the projects that you plan to deliver with this investment.”
Leader of Pendle Council, Coun. Nadeem Ahmed, said: “This will be a major investment to revitalise Colne, with wider substantial benefits for our area.”
Pendle Council put in the bid in June, working with partners including the Pendle Leisure Trust.
The council will be providing an additional £650,000 of funding for projects which will be completed over the next two years.
The range of projects for the historic market town to be completed by 2024 will include:
A Heritage Quarter with investment in three theatres – The Muni Theatre, Pendle Hippodrome and the Little Theatre including making them fully accessible for people with disabilities
Incorporating the historic Derby Arms pub which is currently empty and un-used, into the Pendle Hippodrome theatre as part of the Heritage Quarter.
Tackling empty and under-used sites and buildings in the town centre which need redevelopment to maximise their potential.
Coun. Ahmed added: “It will make a big difference to people across Pendle and beyond, as our town is a great centre for eating out and is renowned for culture, entertainment and for its independent shops and bars.
“This has been a partnership bid and I’d like to thank everyone who’s worked so hard on it. It will bring new vitality to Colne and Pendle as one areas in the country hardest hit by the pandemic."
Alison Goode, chief executive of Pendle Leisure Trust which will lead on Colne Heritage Quarter theatres project said: “This is brilliant news and a lifeline for the long term sustainability of these three important cultural venues.
“The investment will help Pendle’s community to engage far more in arts, culture and heritage for a better quality of life.”
Councillor Ahmed added: “I’d also like to thank all the people who flagged up issues which needed tackling in Colne as part of the Colne Neighbourhood Plan.
“This funding will dovetail with that consultation, which involved local residents. We will continue to work together to realise the town’s potential and boost our economy, in collaboration with local people, businesses and organisations.”