WORK is progressing on the multi-million pound development on the Leeds and Liverpool canal in Burnley, which is expected to be finished by next spring.

The Canal and Rivers Trust was given planning approval for the Mile Wharf in May 2018, and Finsley Gate Wharf Ltd is currently transforming the Grade II-listed buildings tghere.

When finished it will turn the outdoor space into a destination offering boat trips, boat hire, cafe, educational centre as well as function rooms for community and school groups.

Building work is estimated to be complete by the end of the winter after which Finsley Gate Wharf Ltd will be fitting out the former warehouse to create a bar, café, restaurant with function room for events and community use with a view to open in spring 2021.

Canal House and garden will provide bed and breakfast accommodation and a local community garden while the forge will become a heritage and biodiversity education centre for local, regional and national visitors.

Canal and Rivers Trust project officer Sarah De Nurtcheylo said: “We’re delighted that work has restarted and is progressing well on site to transform Finsley Gate Wharf .

“We’ve seen a 300% increase in local people using and discovering their local canal during the last few weeks and once the restoration work is complete, it will become an attractive visitor destination and a hub of activity for the local community to enjoy

Cllr Jeff Sumner, who represents the Burnley Wood ward, is excited about what the scheme will bring to the area.

He said: “It has been a long time coming and the people in the surrounding area cannot wait for it. It is an an area which has had ups and downs.

“Burnley Wood is going to bring people to the area instead of maybe people leaving it.”

Gary Clarkson, managing director of Rosslee Construction, said: “The new venue will have such a positive impact on our local town of Burnley in terms of community and the economy.

"The project includes undertaking sympathetic repairs to the derelict buildings on site to retain but enhance their historic architecture, while renovating them internally to comply with building regulations.”