Church bosses in Clitheroe hope report allows site expansion

CHURCH bosses in Clitheroe are keeping their fingers crossed a report won’t put their expansion plans on hold.

An investigation has been carried out to identify where the foundations of St Mary Magdalene’s Church are and to discover where burials have taken place.

There have been a number of churches on the site in Church Street over the last 1,000 years.

The church is currently finalising plans to add an extension to the north side of the church which will become a new community centre.

The St Mary’s Centre, in Church Street, which is currently being used as a community centre, is in the process of being sold to the Lancaster Foundation for an undisclosed fee.

As part of the expansion plans, wifi is also set to be installed throughout the church and will also improve the church’s disabled access.

Bosses at the Grade II listed church are working on the proposal with English Heritage, Ribble Valley Borough Council and the Church of England Revd Andy Froud, said: “The results from this report will impact on how this project goes forward.

“If it finds that the land to the north of the church has problems with it then we might have to rethink a large section of the plan.

“I hope it’s good news and that we will also find out a lot about the history of the site.

“The investigation had to be carried out with English Heritage to show that the project would not have a negative impact on this historic location.

“I’m expecting to be sent a copy of the report later this week or next week and I’m sure it will be a very interesting read.”

In October the church’s plans were discussed with members of the congregation.

Church bosses hope to submit a formal planning application to Ribble Valley Borough Council in the New Year.

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