B&E Boys are pleased to announce that the company has been awarded a £1.25 million contract for an exciting new project to transform The Whitaker in Rawtenstall. The project includes converting the former barn and stables and is being delivered in partnership by Rossendale Borough Council and the Whitaker CIC, supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.
The awarding of the contract was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic but surveys and meetings have now begun on site. Work on the project will begin on site on June 29th.
As a local firm, we fully understand the importance of The Whitaker in the local community. We are committed to delivering a place that the whole Valley can be proud of.
The original timelines for the project have also been revised because of the pandemic. The new schedule for completion will see work to the exhibition and event space, café and public facilities ready for reopening around Easter 2021.
Rossendale Council hope that the major redevelopment of The Whitaker can serve as a symbol showing that Rossendale can come out of the pandemic stronger. The intention is to make the borough better for the people who live in it and for those who visit from outside the area.
As it will do for many local residents, The Whitaker holds some special memories for the Boys’ family. Childhood trips to Rossendale Museum, as it was formerly known, are remembered fondly.
During the lockdown period, Boys’ office staff have worked remotely from home. Some continuation of construction projects has been maintained over the period, but with fewer staff involved to ensure that social distancing measures were in place.
The conversion of the barn and stables on the site will free up considerable space for The Whitaker. The current bar and café areas are to be relocated. The intention is that the vacated rooms can then be used as spaces for art displays, Young explorers’ room and exhibits from the museum’s extensive collection.
All in all, the redevelopment will double the space that The Whitaker has.
Planning on the project has already been nearly three years in the making and the theme of the redevelopment is nature, society and creativity. The expansion provides a real opportunity for The Whitaker to become the focal point for tourists coming into the area in the future. Of course, the museum will be actively working to promote other attractions in the Valley.
By encouraging visitors to enjoy the full range of attractions that the Valley has to offer, it will be a great boost for the economies of the local towns. This, of course, will be most welcome after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Credit has to be given to everyone connected with The Whitaker for having the determination and vision to realise such an ambitious project.
B&E Boys are excited about the prospect of carrying out the project. An average of 25 local people will be employed on the site.