Historic Burnley wharf open again

Visitors at the Exbury Egg
Visitors at the Exbury Egg
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People are invited to take a closer look at the historic Finsley Gate Wharf site in Burnley and find out how it will be transformed into a community space and visitor attraction.

Cared for by waterways and wellbeing charity Canal and River Trust, the former boatyard will be open on Sunday, September 9th, as part of the Heritage Open Days programme.

Visitors can find out about the site’s history and its future, and take part in activities hosted in partnership with Burnley-based arts programme Super Slow Way.

Highlights include:

• ‘The Eggman’ artist Stephen Turner who lived and worked on the site with the Exbury Egg returns to talk to visitors about the site and its heritage;
• A ‘hard hat’ cinema with archive footage of the site’s history;
• Canoeing and fishing,
• Heritage skills workshops.

The open day will run from 11am to 4pm at Finsley Gate Wharf, Burnley. Visitors should wear stout footwear.

Emma Fielding, north west project officer at Canal and River Trust, said: “Finsley Gate Wharf is an important place in Burnley’s history, and we’re looking forward to helping people uncover the industrial stories of the past.

“We’re delighted that the site is going to be transformed into a vibrant community and visitor space, helping more people discover why life is better by water.”

Opened in 1801, Mile Wharf as it was known locally was an important industrial hub for the north west and one of the oldest wharves on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal.

The Grade II Listed buildings are set to be transformed into a destination offering boat trips and boat hire, a café and visitor accommodation, as well as a function room and learning area for local community and school groups.

The Trust’s vision for the site started to take shape three years ago, with a successful Heritage Lottery Fund grant for emergency repair work. Since then, the Trust has secured a further £2.2m. from HLF’s Heritage Enterprise Programme, and planning permission was granted earlier this year by Burnley Council.

Work is expected to start later this year and should take around 12 months to complete, allowing future tenants Finsley Gate Wharf Ltd to move in and start operating before the end of 2019.

Find out about other events on and by the canal in Burnley at: www.canalrivertrust.org.uk