Hyndburn Borough Council has successfully received initial support through a development grant from The National Lottery Heritage Fund.
£463,056, made possible by National Lottery players, has been confirmed to facilitate transforming the historic Market Chambers building (opposite Accrington Market Hall) into a heritage and cultural space, for residents and visitors to enjoy.
Over £60million of funding has so far been secured for Accrington’s transformation since January 2022, through the Levelling Up and UK Shared Prosperity Funding, with buildings on Accrington Town Square the centre of the plans.
The vision for Market Chambers is to establish a thriving community building to share the story of Hyndburn and its far-reaching impact across the globe – through an immersive, multisensory, and flexible space that highlights local heritage stories for people to enjoy and be inspired by.
Richard Hooper, Vice Chair of Hyndburn’s Culture, Heritage and Investment Panel (CHIP), said:
“Hyndburn and its people have had a global impact over the past two centuries, this funding is a chance for those stories and inventions to be told in an inspirational and innovative way – not only to the people that live here already, but to people throughout the country and beyond.
“From revolutionising the textile trade, to creating bricks for the empire state building, the people of this borough have helped changed the world, and the next generation can be inspired to do the same.
“Communities are shaped by their heritage and now is the time to proudly tell that story for others to hear. I hope that all will take the opportunity to have their voice heard in the coming months throughout the development phase of the project and get involved at any opportunity.”
The National Lottery Heritage Fund support will be used to conduct engagement work, taster events and consultation over the next 12-15 months, working directly with the local community to shape and co-create a vision for the new facility on Accrington Town Square. After the development phase is complete, the proposed plans will be submitted to The National Lottery Heritage Fund to unlock the remaining funding, which will total £4.5million investment if successful.
Helen Featherstone, Director, England, North at The National Lottery Heritage Fund said:
“We’re thrilled to support Hyndburn Borough Council with this initial grant to work towards repurposing the amazing Market Chambers building into a space where heritage and culture can thrive. Thanks to National Lottery players, this development phase will help local people to connect with Accrington’s heritage and have their say on the vision for its future.”
The proposal, submitted by Hyndburn Borough Council, also outlined ideas for a performance space, activity/events space and a welcome area for people to enjoy refreshments in whilst socialising, relaxing or working within the adjacent Burtons Chambers building.
Julie Hesmondhalgh, Accrington-born Actor and Writer, said:
“This is fantastic news for Hyndburn’s arts, culture and heritage landscape and everyone who has been involved in making it happen deserves a big thank you. It is so important that people get involved at every stage over the coming months and have their voices heard. I am pleased to say I will be part of that ongoing journey too as an ambassador.
“My experiences and time growing up in Accrington have shaped who I am and I’m so excited that a space to celebrate everything there is to be proud of is being created with huge amounts of community input along the way. There is a lot of work to do and I’m looking forward to getting stuck in!”
The bid was produced with guidance from Engagement Leads at The National Lottery Heritage Fund, input from Hyndburn’s Culture, Heritage, and Investment Panel (CHIP) and Accrington Town Centre Board, plus feedback on the project vision from the newly created ‘Levelling Up Places Service’ (LUPS) funded by DLHUC.
Councillor Mohammed Younis, Portfolio Holder for Levelling Up at Hyndburn Council, said:
“The total investment secured since our Accrington Town Centre Plan was agreed now totals over £60million, funding which will kick-start the local economy across Hyndburn. I hope everyone will join me in celebrating this new welcome investment into our borough.
“I would like to encourage everyone to get involved in this exciting project and take part in all the opportunities that will be coming up. This building is very much being created for the next generation, and I can’t wait to see plans take shape.”
For more information about the Accrington Town Square transformation and to find out how to get involved in the various upcoming projects, head to: https://accringtontownsquare.com/