Gawthorpe Textiles Collection operates from the Gawthorpe Hall estate in Padiham, Lancashire; family home to founder Rachel Kay-Shuttleworth MBE (1886- 1967), a life-long collector of global textile and craft items.
Since its establishment in 1959, the charity has existed to deliver its powerful founding vision focused on education, public access to the collection for all and the promotion of wellbeing.
Lord Shuttleworth, chairman of the Trustees of the Gawthorpe Textiles Collection, said: “Dennis brings to the Board an impressive spectrum of expertise from his experience in the business world, his civic duties and helping other charities. I am delighted to welcome him as a trustee and look forward to working with him to secure the future of GTC for generations to come.”
Dennis said: “The Kay-Shuttleworth Textile Collections known as Gawthorpe Textile Collection is a unique Lancashire charity working in partnership with the National Trust and Lancashire County Council to deliver Rachel’s vision of establishing a Centre of Excellence for learning in textiles and promoting crafts not only across Lancashire but, internationally.
"This is a 30,000-piece collection of global provenance that brings together many diverse cultures and extraordinary pieces of art. It is important that we protect, promote and move forward in a structured and cost-efficient manner to establish a new Centre of Textile and Cultural Excellence for the benefit of future generations.
"As a trustee I will be helping to make connections for GTC within the local business community and be part of the fundraising committee. I believe that we all collectively have a duty of care in safeguarding the 30,000 exhibits available for future generations to benefit and appreciate.
"This is a perfect opportunity to showcase Lancashire’s textile heritage and at the same time promote learning and diversity across the UK. Please join us in supporting this important and historic initiative.”
Gawthorpe Textiles Collection is the operating name of independent museum and registered charity The Rachel Kay-Shuttleworth Textile Collections.
Key activities undertaken by the charity fall into two strands. Firstly management and care of the collection including research, documentation, acquisition, interpretation and conservation. Secondly, sharing the collection with the public; catering to a broad range of ages, cultural backgrounds and skill levels. This includes delivering historic and contemporary exhibitions, artist collaborations, workshops, talks, tours, research and study visits, as well as outreach in the local community.