A NEW £250,000 National Lottery grant will allow the restoration of an East Lancashire museum and art gallery to continue.

The improvement scheme at The Whitaker in Rawtenstall will now continue for another 12 months.

The additional grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund brings the value of the scheme - which includes transforming the old barn and stables, creating new exhibition space and moving the cafe and bar - to £2.2million.

The impact of Covid-19 delayed parts of the project but the new money, including a contribution from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport's Capital Kickstarter fund, means work can carry on.

Cllr Alyson Barnes, leader of Rossendale Council, said: "This is great news not just for The Whitaker but for Rossendale as a whole.

“The Whitaker is a fantastic asset and the improvements will be hugely beneficial not just for the residents of the borough but also the visitors it attracts from outside the area."

Carl Bell, managing director of The Whitaker said: “It’s really important that after all the hard work and planning up to 2021 that we are able to really offer an outstanding heritage, arts and cultural experience for Rossendale.”

The Whitaker hopes to reopen this summer.