Lancashire

Council's £1m boost to keep Queen Street and Helmshore Mill open

Helmshore Mills textile Museum Image copyright David Dixon/Geograph
Image caption Helmshore Mills still have their original working machinery in situ

Two mill museums with funding issues will be supported by a council while it discusses a possible handover to the National Trust.

Lancashire County Council will pay over £1m to Rossendale's Helmshore Mills Textile Museum and Burnley's Queen Street Mill over the next two years.

The authority said it had a "memorandum of understanding" to work together with the charity "to find solutions".

The charity said it was assessing if it would become involved with the mills.

The council stopped funding the museums in 2016 amid efforts to save £65m, before reopening them two years later.

The Grade I listed Queen Street Mill, which was featured in the films Peterloo and The King's Speech, is thought to be the last surviving 19th Century steam-powered weaving mill, while Helmshore Mills are the only ones to still have their original working machinery in situ.

The charity's spokeswoman said it was in discussions with the council about the "sustainable future" of the mills.

She said it had been "scoping out the various potential operational costs and revenue generation possibilities at these sites", which would "enable a range of organisations, including but not limited to, the National Trust, to assess whether they can play a part in the mills' future".

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