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Burnley's historic hall counts cost of rainy summer
TORRENTIAL rain drove down visitor numbers to Burnley’s historic Towneley Hall last summer, it has been revealed.
But the Grade Two listed building has become a magnet as a wedding venue, helping to offset losses to the town hall’s coffers.
For the past two years the hall has served as the backdrop for BBC2’s Antiques Master, hosted by Sandi Toksvig and featuring Nelson’s Eric Knowles as the resident expert.
During the last financial year, council bosses expected to make just over £103,000 in guided tours, hire charges, refreshments and booklets and brochures.
Simon Goff, the borough council’s head of leisure, said income had been affected because Lancashire had recorded its wettest year in a century. Mr Goff, in a resource scrutiny committee report, added: “Towneley is a weather-dependent venue. Many visitors come to enjoy both the hall and the parkland and during the summer of 2012 visitor numbers were reduced.
“Income from admissions and shop sales are consequently lower than budgeted. However income from refreshments is higher due to the reintroduction of evening wedding events, grant income and exhibitions and tour income is also higher.” Latest figures presented to councillors, covering a period up to the end of January have shown that the takings are around 80 per cent of those expected, with two months to go.
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