Burnley Civic Trust Heritage Image Collection

What Express Help is set to do

31 December 1981
Towneley Hall, Burnley

Media Ref: BE81ng18907_e
What Express Help is set to do
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The craft museum. A new, ramped footpath is to be laid to give disabled access. It will be established in memory of Mr Frank Ascroft.

Tenders are now being invited for the first batch of projects to be financed from the Express help appeal fund. Adaptations of council premises, to provide facilities for the disabled, have been considered by sub-committees and committees of Burnley Borough Council. The Borough Surveyor has been authorised to supervise the works.

The appeal fund stands at more than £20,000. Estimated costs of the schemes already agreed total some £12,000. Various other projects are being considered by the Express Help committee. The particular schemes which the committee formulated were endorsed at a third public meeting at Temple Street Centre in October.

The men’s public conveniences in the Market Precinct are to be adapted to form a separate unisex disabled toilet (estimated cost £2,700). The men’s cloakroom at Padiham Town Hall is to be converted into a unisex disabled toilet (£1,600). The stone shelter near the cafe, opposite the side of Towneley Hall, is to be converted so that half forms a rest room for the disabled and the other half a unisex toilet (Estimated cost £7,000).

A new ramped footpath is to be built to give disabled people access to the Towneley Craft Museum. It will lead across the lawn at the back of the hall and go through an existing wall. The cost of this scheme is now to be “taken over” by Mrs Edna Ascroft in memory of her husband. Mr Frank Ascroft was president for many years of the Towneley Hall society, which was instrumental in the craft museum being established. Mrs Ascroft’s generous offer is being supplemented by Towneley Hall Society. Included in the scheme is a plan to extend the wall outside the museum and incorporate carved stones collected from old buildings in the town.

Another scheme put up by the Express Help committee has been approved by Lancashire County Council, which is to pay half the cost, estimated at £500. This will give disabled people access to Burnley Central Library and the Reference Library. They will be able to use a ramped footpath to the loading door in Croft Street.

Various other ideas have been put to the Express Help committee. One of them was the possibility of adapting a bus for use by disabled people. Burnley and Pendle Joint Transport has quoted the cost of providing and adapting a bus as about £12,000, and there are obvious difficulties as to how such a bus could be operated on a regular and practical basis. There’s the possibility of improving the facilities at the pavilion in Queen’s Park, which has been used by organisations for the blind. Braille signposting and Braille maps are also being considered, as are the interests of the mentally ill and the needs of Burnley’s special schools.

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