A SERIES of artworks have shown how Blackburn's Imperial Mill and the county's canals could look if an ambitious redevelopment proposal is realised.

The artworks were released by the arts commissioning programme The Super Slow Way, which is working on a plan to redevelop the areas around the Leeds and Liverpool Canal including Imperial Mill in Blackburn, the coke ovens in Hyndburn, Northlight Mill in Brierfield and Sandygate Square in Burnley into visitor destinations offering water sports and places to eat and drink alongside arts and culture programmes.

The charity has released a feasibility study into the plans, known as the Pennine Linear Park project, alongside Lancashire County Council, Blackburn with Darwen, Hyndburn, Burnley and Pendle Borough Councils, with the artworks showing just how big a change their plans could make to the area.

Lancashire Telegraph:

The Super Slow Way's plans for Pendle's Brierfield Mill 

Blackburn with Darwen Council cabinet member for regeneration Phil Riley said: "In lots of parts of the country canals and waterways have become viable leisure areas and its long overdue that the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, one of the nation's oldest canals, should find itself in the same set of circumstances.

"It's packed full of history so we're really pleased that The Super Slow Way have progressed with the idea."

He added: "It's been absolutely essential to the industrial history of East Lancashire and its got real potential to be a great area for leisure."

Lancashire Telegraph:

How the plans for Hargreaves Warehouse at Church, Hyndburn could look

The report, funded Lancashire County Council, Arts Council England and the Canal and River Trust, proposes that the park will run across a 20 mile stretch from Eanam Wharf in Blackburn at the western end, to Barrowford Lock in Pendle with new leisure hubs established in repurposed and refurbished heritage buildings.

The aim of the project is to stimulate local economies and in particular the culture, leisure and tourism industries after East Lancashire has suffered disproportionately during the pandemic.

The East Lancashire economy is predicted to be among the 10 most heavily impacted in the UK and the organisers hope that the Pennine Linear Park project will help the region to recover and progress to a more prosperous future.

Lancashire Telegraph:

Ambitious plans for Enfield Wharf in Accrington 

Super Slow Way director Laurie Peake said: "It’s a vision of East Lancashire as a blueprint for a post-Covid recovery in areas ravaged by the pandemic as it moves towards a carbon neutral future.

This is a vision that can only be delivered if everyone that has a stake works towards one goal that, by 2030, it will be a flagship for a new, green economy, with stronger, healthier communities in a landscape that has become a visitor destination."

To find out more, go to: https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/.