The first light has been shone on Brierfield Mill’s terrific transformation.
Northlight, the ambitious £32m. project to breathe new life into the historic mill, opened its doors to the Express.
The huge complex will soon be home to the Lancashire Adult Learning Centre, Burnley FC in the Community and the Leisurebox indoor sports centre, while talks are ongoing to create a hotel and other accommodation within the late Victorian building.
The leader of Pendle Borough Council, Coun. Mohammed Iqbal, joined representatives from developers Barnfield Construction and Nelson and Colne College for the sneak preview.
Coun. Iqbal said: “It’s been full speed ahead since October. Every day is a big step for this project.
“I’m very impressed with the progress that has been made and you can really see it beginning to take shape.
I’m very impressed with the progress that has been made and you can really see it beginning to take shape.Coun. Mohammed Iqbal, leader of Pendle Borough Council
“You can really visualise people learning and working here.”
Coun. Iqbal is chairman of Pendle Enterprise And Regeneration (PEARL), the joint venture company of Pendle Council and Barnfield Investment Properties which owns Northlight.
The new Lancashire Adult Learning Centre will support 22,000 adult learners in Lancashire across 120 community venues.
Principal Amanda Melton said: “Our goal is to help adults across the county develop new skills and improve their lives.
“The move to Northlight in 2017 will reinforce our position as a beacon of education across Lancashire. We are thrilled to be part of it.”
Lancashire County Council and Lancashire Enterprise Partnership have provided £1.4m. to support the relocation of Lancashire Adult Learning from its current base in Chorley to Northlight in Brierfield.
Tim Webber, managing director of Barnfield and a PEARL board member, said his company had tried to retain original features wherever possible, including vaulted ceilings and pillars.
He said: “We’re working at a very fast pace but we were keen to stop work for a few minutes and show Coun. Iqbal and Amanda Melton what’s been happening behind the scenes over the last three months.
“It’s all on schedule for the Lancashire Adult Learning Centre to open in August 2017 – less than nine months away.”
David Graham, site manager at Northlight for Barnfield, added: “Anyone who’s visited or worked in the old offices will be pleased that while we are creating a new modern and accessible centre, we are keeping some elegant period features.
“These include the curved oak staircase and the main feature window with its stunning view over the Northlight weaving shed windows to the historic clock tower.”