Play area to open in historic East Lancashire mill

4:00pm Monday 24th February 2014

PART of a historic mill is to be transformed into a children’s play area.

King’s Mill, in Harle Syke, is to be the home of Kiddy Chaos, a 10,000sq ft children’s play area, set to open in April.

Local businessman Paul Sconce has worked in partnership with the owner of the building, Tony Hartley, to get the project up and running.

The site was formerly used for storage, and as a gym, until May 2013.

Work on the transformation of the interior of the building is well underway, as well as work to refurbish the exterior of the old mill, which started producing cotton in 1912.

Mr Sconce said the project would cost in excess of £100,000 once it was completed.

He said: “Peter Reeves bought the mill a while ago and wanted to develop it so that it attracts people to the area. It is an ideal opportunity as there is an abun- dance of children in this area, but only one small playground.

“It will be a labyrinth-type play area on two levels, with a built-in bouncy castle, a spider’s web, slide and plenty of things to explore. There will also be a baby and toddler area where families can sit and watch their young ones play.

“We want to cater for babies right up to 10 and 11-year-olds.”

The development has already gone through all the planning processes, and Mr Scorce said there would be no traffic issues.

He said: “There is ample parking on the site, and is within walking distance for locals.

“And Peter is contributing towards bringing the exterior of the mill back up to date as there is no point doing the inside and not the outside.

“With Queen’s Mill being recently awarded Grade One listing, the two buildings will complete each other.”

And Mr Sconce said this could be just the first of a series of developments around Harle Syke.

He said: “Once things get settled down, I will have disc-ussions with the council about other developments in the area.

“We need something for the older children in the area to do as well.”

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