Farington art plans: first look

On its way: A cotton 'shuttle', similar to this one in Nelson.
On its way: A cotton 'shuttle', similar to this one in Nelson.

This is the first look at a new art project which could soon be making its way to Leyland.

The 12 to 14 ft ‘shuttle’, which was used in the cotton mills, is part of a project to make the 150th anniversary of the end of the cotton famine. A similar one has already been constructed in nearby Nelson, East Lancashire.

A group of residents, supported by Farington Parish Council, South Ribble Council and Lancashire County Council, want to build the giant structure at the corner of Mill Street and Stanifield Lane in Farington.

They hope it will be a fitting way to mark the end of a devastating period of time for people living in Farington, which saw everyone employed at the Bashall and Boardman’s huge spinning and weaving mill at the bottom of Mill Street, without work or income for almost two years.

The idea was put before residents at a public consultation on Tuesday where 61 people recorded an interest in the project. Of these, one person said they disliked the plan and 60 people said they liked it.

Local historian Joan Langford said: “We were really pleased with the turn-out at the consultation.

“It is important to stress that the money spent on the shuttle, if that’s what we have, will come from a grant that needs to be spent on a heritage project. This is not rate-payers money.

“We really want to recognise the heritage of the area and make people feel better about where they live. Farington tends to be forgotten as another place in Leyland, but it’s not.

“This shuttle will mean Farington gets its own identity; a landmark. We need that.

“We are at the very early stages but we have to get going now.

“We want to mark the anniversary next year and this won’t happen overnight.”

The project will also include ‘sprucing’ up the match of land, which currently has a cherry tree in the middle, and creating a community notice board and heritage trail.

The next stage in the project is to go through recommendations made at the consultation stage and discuss how these could be developed.

There will also be further consultations with other groups, including children from Farington Primary School, before a final design plan will be made.

Coun Mike Otter, who represents Farington East at South Ribble Borough Council, said: “We were really pleased that around 100 people turned up to see the plans.

“We really want to bring the history of Farington back to residents and hopefully these plans will give Farington a real ‘wow’ factor.”