A PROJECT to preserve the history of the shoe industry in Rossendale has benefited from £40,000 in lottery funding.

Peter Dunn has been leading the research which will see the story of the borough’s once famous shoe factories brought back to life for future generations.

For more than 100 years the Valley was synonymous with shoe manufacturing, with factories sometimes employing three generations of the same family.

Mr Dunn, whose father worked as a foreman at Trickett’s, one of Rossendale’s most famous shoe producers, said: “We want to preserve the social history of the shoe industry in Rossendale for the future generations.

“Shoe manufacture was a massive industry in Rossendale and is a big part of the story of the area.

“We are collecting old photographs and artefacts from the factories, as well as the stories of the people who worked in them.”

The project will see a website created which will tell the story of the Valley’s shoe history.

“The website will have pictures and snippets of sound so that people can see and hear what it was like in the factories,” said Mr Dunn.

“As well as the website we will also create a DVD and a booklet with all the information in.”

The project is funded up until July this year, but Mr Dunn hopes other people may help extend it beyond that.

He said: “At the moment we are looking at the history of the shoe industry in Rossendale, but hopefully this will inspire others to get involved and perhaps extend it and research the rest of Lancashire.”