The AHF would like to thank the many current and former clients who took time to complete our Impact Survey this summer. Your time and effort is very much appreciated. We’ve started analyzing the results and there are already some encouraging responses. As a thank you for participating, every active charity who responded to the survey was entered into a prize draw to win a £1,000 donation towards their charitable objectives. The winner was Re:Source Blackburn, Blackburn Cotton Exchange.
Alistair Murdoch, Chair of Trustees for Re:Source Blackburn said: "We're delighted to have won this money from the Architectural Heritage Fund, who have been extremely supportive. This money will help us do further project promotion and help us develop our business plan before a phase 1 HLF application."
The Blackburn Cotton Exchange is Grade 2 listed and is located on King William Street, Blackburn. It was built in 1862-5 by Brakespear of Manchester in the High Gothic style and represents the prosperity of the Blackburn cotton trade. With the collapse of the cotton trade at the beginning of the 20th century, the Cotton Exchange lost its purpose. It was converted into a cinema, but finally closed its doors in 2005, since when it became derelict. It was bought in 2015 by Re:Source Blackburn which has temporarily refurbished the lower ground floor.
With support from the AHF by way of a Project Viability Grant, Re:Source Blackburn has developed its ideas for the building, including a restaurant, exhibition space, community use and an auditorium. It has drawn inspiration from The Grand, Clitheroe and the Liverpool Lighthouse, both former cinemas which have been transformed into community venues. A heritage report and condition survey of the building has now been completed as has an option appraisal of the proposals which were subject to a public consultation in September 2016.
A full impact report based on the data collected from the survey will be published as part of our AHF Annual Review later in the year.
Find out more about Re:Source Blackburn here.