Trustees, staff and supporters of the Gawthorpe Textiles Collection celebrated the grand opening of its new premises in Brierfield last week.

The Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire, Amanda Parker JP, carried out the official ribbon cutting as members of the local community gathered to commemorate the next significant milestone in the history of the collection.

Chairman of Trustees, Lord Shuttleworth, expressed his own deep gratitude to all who contributed to the successful relocation of more than 30,000 textile items which make up this globally significant collection to the Northlight development.

Lancashire Telegraph: The ribbon cutting ceremonyThe ribbon cutting ceremony (Image: Gawthorpe Textiles Collection)

Director Linda Drury, curator Rachel Midgley, assistant curator Rachel Terry, and dedicated volunteers were praised for their tireless efforts in making the transition possible.

Notable guests included local MPs Antony Higginbotham and Andrew Stephenson, the Mayor of Pendle Councillor Brian Newman, representatives from UCLAN, Burnley College and Nelson and Colne College and a wealth of business owners.

Originally curated by Rachel Kay-Shuttleworth MBE, the collection holds a rich heritage deeply rooted in East Lancashire.

It is now cared for by a board of trustees who, inspired by Rachel’s motto ‘cherish the past, adorn the present, create for the future,’ are committed to carrying on her community and educational work.

Lord Shuttleworth said: “The collection was previously housed in Gawthorpe Hall in Padiham, where we faced challenges in maintaining adequate storage conditions. The decision to relocate to Northlight was driven by a commitment to preserve and protect these invaluable treasures for future generations.

“Northlight is a former cotton mill and holds a wealth of significance within the area, so we felt it was the perfect new home.

“With ample space and improved accessibility, the new location promises to enhance public engagement and educational outreach initiatives.”

Looking ahead, Lord Shuttleworth also outlined ambitious plans to broaden access to the collection and further its educational mission as a textiles centre of excellence.

However, financial constraints pose a significant challenge in meeting this end goal, prompting a call to action for support from businesses and the community.

Lord Shuttleworth announced an offer of £60,000 in match funding for the next 12 months, which would double the impact of any donations received.

This initiative aims to sustain the collection’s operations while paving the way for long-term financial sustainability.

Lancashire Telegraph: The Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire, Amanda Parker JP, carrying out the official ribbon cutting The Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire, Amanda Parker JP, carrying out the official ribbon cutting (Image: We Love Creative)

Director Linda Drury said: “As the Gawthorpe Textiles Collection embarks on this new chapter, we are looking for support from the community to help safeguard and nurture this cultural gem.

“Together, we can uphold Rachel Kay-Shuttleworth’s legacy and ensure the collection continues to inspire, educate, and enrich lives for generations to come.”

After the speeches and ribbon cutting, guests were invited to take a tour of the collection led by curator Rachel Midgley.

For more information on how to support the collection or to organise a visit, contact Linda Drury at