CALLS have been made to create a museum featuring the Pendle Witches story as the area attracts more visitors in the lead-up to the 400th anniversary of the trials.

Tour guide, storyteller and expert Simon Entwistle believes the focal point of a museum would leave a legacy after the wide-ranging commemoration of 1612 has finished.

Simon, who lives in Clitheroe, said: “What I feel is what the Pendle witch story needs is a purpose built state-of-the-art museum on the Barley car park.

“This would create jobs and offer visitors an insight to what life was like in 1612.

“I think it would be beneficial to the area for the museum to have a permanent exhibition and also employ guides to take mini-bus tours in to the all those areas associated with the story.”

Mr Entwistle said that at the moment the prospect was just an idea and faced many obstacles.

“Obviously this project would cost a lot of money and right now councils have had to tighten their belts,” he said.

“But I’m sure they could work in conjunction with a private company. I have chatted to many councillors on both sides of Pendle Hill and everyone agreed that if the location was in the USA then ideas like this would have become a reality many years ago.”

Among many events taking place in the coming months are plans to temporarily spray 1612 in 1,400ft x 500ft numerals on the side of Pendle Hill.

The five-mile Pendle Witch Walk on August 18 is attempting to break a world record for the biggest ever gathering of ‘witches’.

Brian Cookson, Pendle Council’s executive director for regeneration said: “We’re always keen to look at new ideas which will promote tourism. But this is a time of severe budget constraints and we have no resources available at the moment either to develop or manage another facility. If there was a private proposal to run one then we’d look at this in a positive way.

"We’ve invested in the Pendle Witches theme for many years, with award winning initiatives like the Pendle Witches Trail.

"We’re now developing a new Pendle Sculpture Trail near Barley which opens this summer and have a Pendle Witches Festival underway.”