RESIDENTS across Pendle are set to benefit from today’s Budget, with three theatres in Colne securing a major investment as part of the Government’s commitment to level up every part of the UK.
The investment in Colne’s Muni, Pendle Hippodrome Theatre and Colne’s Little Theatre is one of 12 projects set to receive support from the £232 million Levelling Up Fund to help working families, support business and drive economic growth as the country recovers from the pandemic.
Conservative-led Pendle Council submitted a bid for the funding, supported by Andrew Stephenson MP, back in June. The £6.5 million project, named “Colne Heritage Quarter”, aims to enrich Colne’s cultural offer by investing in three theatres (The Muni, Hippodrome and Little Theatre) by providing new and enhanced facilities, creating a collaborative, distinct and complementary offer which underpins growth in Colne’s night-time economy.
Welcoming the news, Andrew Stephenson, MP for Pendle, said: “This is really exciting news for Colne and the whole of Pendle. Our local theatres are an integral part of Colne’s wider cultural offer which also includes live music venues, restaurants, bars and cafes. The theatres have really suffered during the pandemic, having to close their doors to the public and whilst the Muni benefitted from significant government funding from the Culture Recovery Fund, this investment will boost all three theatres for years to come.”
Colne Councillor Sarah Cockburn-Price said: “This money will be a gamechanger for the volunteer-led Hippo and Little Theatre. It will fund an expansion into its courtyard for The Little Theatre and it will finally realise the dream of incorporating The Derby Arms into The Hippo.”
Colne County Councillor Ash Sutcliffe said: “This investment in the cultural heritage of Colne is much welcomed and instils confidence in the wider economy of the town. Colne is famous for its theatre and music venues so improved provision will encourage more visitors and better-quality entertainment. A great day for Colne”
As well as the good news for Colne, the whole of the northwest will also benefit from its share of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, which is focussed on helping people into jobs and supporting businesses, including giving hundreds of thousands of adults the opportunity to develop their numeracy skills though the adult numeracy programme, “Multiply”, and a new £660 million Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund from additional funding for the British Business Bank.
Transport links are also set for more funding, with £32.6 billion for local upgrades over this Parliament, including the A595 Grizebeck Bypass in Cumbria and £24 billion for strategic roads investment, including the A66 Northern Trans-Pennine.