THE case for lottery funding to transform Brierfield Mills has been made during a meeting between Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson and the Heritage Lottery Fund North West.

Mr Stephenson met with Sara Hilton, head of the North West fund, this week to discuss the site.

Pendle Council bought the landmark Grade Two listed building last March for £1.5million from the Islamic Help charity, who had seen plans for a large Islamic school for girls fall through.

Mr Stephenson said: “Brierfield Mills has huge potential to be a key driver of economic regeneration in Pendle. So I wanted to meet with the Heritage Lottery Fund and set out just how vital this site is. I was encouraged by what Sara Hilton had to say about possible funding that could be bid for.

“I will continue to work with Pendle Council and other stakeholders to ensure we bring this landmark building back into use.”

The building, formerly the home of Smith and Nephew, has been vacant since medical supplies firm BSN closed down its remaining operations at the site around six years ago.

Julie Whittaker, Pendle Council’s economic and housing regeneration manager, said: “We’re looking at a range of funding opportunities to transform Brierfield Mill which we bought less than a year ago. These include targeting the Heritage Lottery Fund.

“We’re aware of the new Heritage Enterprise Scheme, but the guidance on this isn’t ready so we haven’t been able to submit an application yet. But I’m confident we will.

“Through our pioneering joint venture company Pearl2, work is under way to bring Brierfield Mills to life with new jobs and exciting opportunities in Pendle.

“This important part of Pendle’s heritage will be a key site for regeneration for the whole North West.”

Mr Stephenson has also written to 150 homes close to Brierfield Mills asking residents what they would like to see happen to the historic building.