One of East Lancashire's top tourist attractions has revealed its opening date after a major revamp. The Whitaker museum and restaurant in Rawtenstall has also merged with Rossendale Leisure Trust to promote physical health alongside cultural wellbeing.
The Whitaker Community Interest Company will now become a charity as it prepares to reopen the former Rossendale Museum on July 24.
On that day, booked in visitors will be the first to tour the £1.9million National Lottery Heritage Fund development of the former barn and stables into a new café bar, event and community space and catering kitchen.
In June 2019, Rossendale Council and The Whitaker secured Heritage Lottery funding to convert the former barn and stables.
Managing director of The Whitaker Carl Bell said: “Directors Julian and Jackie Williams have stood down from operational duties to pursue other interests, but they are staying on the board.
“The Whitaker has done some work with the leisure trust in the past when community activities were organised in the park and the idea of working closer together has been rumbling for a while.
“When I knew Julian and Jackie were stepping down, and we were expanding the business with the new extension, it made good sense to get a bit more stability – then who could have predicted Covid?”
Chief executive of Rossendale Leisure Trust Ken Masser said: “We will be supporting with additional capacity as The Whitaker goes into the next phase of reopening the building and opening the new extension to more hospitality.
“Rossendale Leisure Trust will help with strategic planning and marketing support and I feel that together we can offer a more holistic approach to the health and wellbeing offer that we have in Rossendale.
“There will be very few changes in ...
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