<div style="display:inline;"> <img height="1" width="1" style="border-style:none;" alt="" src="//googleads.g.doubleclick.net/pagead/viewthroughconversion/1028731116/?value=0&amp;guid=ON&amp;script=0">
6 ISSUES FOR £6 Subscribe to Lancashire Life today click here

There's new life on the canal at Burscough Wharf

PUBLISHED: 16:26 17 August 2011 | UPDATED: 16:25 13 January 2018

There's new life on the canal at Burscough Wharf

There's new life on the canal at Burscough Wharf

Life has been brought back to Burscough Wharf providing locals and visitors with an special shopping experience. Amanda Griffiths visits Photography by John Cocks

Erin Wilkinson and Emma Jayne Ashcroft of EJ Boutique are bubbling with enthusiasm for the wharf Erin Wilkinson and Emma Jayne Ashcroft of EJ Boutique are bubbling with enthusiasm for the wharf

Jane Bell is known as ‘the resident American’ in Burscough. Over the years she has volunteered for numerous projects and, as a member of the Arts and Crafts Guild of Lancashire, she is one of many people who wanted to see a gallery of members’ work established in the village.



Those wishes were granted in February when Burscough Wharf, a new retail, dining and leisure development opened on the banks of the Leeds-Liverpool Canal.



‘I moved to Burscough about 13 years ago,’ says Jane. ‘This place was virtually unused. It was owned by British Waterways who had an office here, but that was about it.



‘As soon as the development started taking place we put our name down. The developer and owners have been good to us - it wasn’t until Christmas that we knew we had the funding to open. We’d been turned down for an Arts Council grant twice before an anonymous benefactor came up with the money. Since then things have been going even better than the Guild could have hoped for.’

Jane Bell and Malcolm Mentha at The Gallery at the Wharf Jane Bell and Malcolm Mentha at The Gallery at the Wharf



In spite of the economic climate, the gallery is selling art works every week – confirming Jane’s faith in the site. ‘We wanted to be here because it’s such a unique place,’ she adds. ‘I don’t know if we would have ever had a gallery anywhere else but here. There’s so much history to the place; there’s a uniqueness to it.’



Julie Mitchell is one of the owners of the site, along with her brother Nigel Guy. ‘The site was derelict for more than 20 years,’ says Julie. ‘My father had actually looked at it to develop himself years ago but decided against it. When it came up for sale we decided it was a great opportunity and, because our family’s from Burscough, we liked the idea of putting something back into the community.



‘We wanted to retain as much character as possible and I think the architect and builders did a good job. The buildings are all original, apart from one. We also wanted to keep the cobbles, each one had to be taken up, power washed and re-laid. It was a major job but worth it.’



The site was so popular that by the time it opened 75 per cent of the space had been let, some found by Julie and Nigel and the rest by Nick and Ray Eckersley, the day-to-day landlords of the site.

Burscough Wharf Burscough Wharf



Ray sums up people’s feelings. ‘The tenants all seem very happy. We only have one studio and one shop left to lease now, which is great when you consider we’re in a recession. I think the tenants like the idea of being in a community like this and not just on the high street.



‘The restaurant is doing fantastic food and we’ve got an equally good tea room.



‘I’ve shown two ladies around who came down looking for somewhere to take their grandchildren in the summer holidays.



‘They wanted to make sure that there was plenty for them to do here. They’re still here so they must like it!’

Children enjoying a holiday workshop at ‘Pots u Paint’ studio Children enjoying a holiday workshop at ‘Pots u Paint’ studio



When mum-of-two, Imogen Suffell visited for the first time she loved it but felt it was lacking an attraction for children and she did something about it.



‘I said to a friend it needed one of those ‘pot painting places’ and thought if I didn’t do something about it someone else would and I’d kick myself,’ she says.

‘I was open for the Easter holidays – it all happened extremely quickly! It’s early days but I had a good Easter, we have had school visits and I am now trying to encourage adult painting classes as well.



‘I just love the whole atmosphere of the wharf; there’s something for everyone here. As a parent I know it’s important to have something to occupy the kids on a day out. There’s plenty to do and see and also a lovely walk from here up to Top Locks which is also do-able with the kids.’

Jeannie Pritchard, Ceramic Restoration and Dolls Hospital Jeannie Pritchard, Ceramic Restoration and Dolls Hospital



Jeannie Pritchard of Pritchard’s Ceramic Restoration and Dolls’ Hospital agrees. ‘There’s something for everyone here and normally something happening at the weekend, such as farmers’ markets in the courtyard.



‘It’s just such a lovely place with a great atmosphere and I love being on the water - that’s why I came here. Nine years ago I was diagnosed with lupus which affects your joints and causes tiredness and meant I couldn’t work in the NHS any more.



‘I got into ceramic and doll restoration when I decided I needed to go back to work. I’ve restored pieces for museums and people all over the county and across the UK.



‘I thought I might get the odd person wanting something restored but it’s passed my expectations really. I’ve got a four month waiting list now!’

0 comments

More from Out & About

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

There are many forces of nature to witness in the Lake District, we pick six of our favourite waterfalls.

Read more
Lake District
Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Rebekka O’Grady and photographer John Cocks meet some of the new independent businesses calling Southport home

Read more
Southport
Monday, February 12, 2018

How many of these local landmarks can you recognise?

Read more
Quiz Spring
Friday, February 9, 2018

Plans for around 600 new houses to be built in pretty Wyre village

Read more
Wednesday, February 7, 2018

John Lenehan toasts the re-opening of a Lancashire engineering landmark and notes an invention to revive any walker.

Read more
Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Kirkby Lonsdale sits on the spot where Lancashire, Yorkshire and Westmorland meet, making it a great base to explore the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales. All these walks start of within a ten mile radius of Kirkby Lonsdale, making them a perfect day trip for anyone staying close to the historic market town.

Read more
Kirkby Lonsdale
Monday, February 5, 2018

From businesses selling banjoes to bridalwear from a former New York costume designer, Colne is a town for all seasons. Mairead Mahon reports.

Read more
Colne
Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Lake District walks dominate the top ten of Britain’s 100 list.

Read more
Lake District Lake District Walks
Friday, January 26, 2018

Barrow was built on hard graft but there’s plenty of beauty to be found as well, as Mike Glover reports

PHOTOGRAPHY BY SANDY KITCHING

Read more
Thursday, January 25, 2018

Despite its bad reputation, the cuckoo has been a great and clever survivor in the wild. However, numbers have dipped since the 1970s. The Lancashire Wildlife Trust’s Alan Wright investigates this iconic spring bird.

Read more
Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Many of us are frustrated by our inability to swim well. Sarah Hill did something about it and now helps others. She spoke to Roger Borrell.

Read more
Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Celebrate the historic waterways of Lancashire with one of these canalside walks that allow you to enjoy the countryside and witness echoes the the county’s industrial past.

Read more
Canals
Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Their football clubs both wear navy blue and white strips, but how well can you identify landmarks in Bolton and Preston?

Read more
Preston Bolton Quiz
Friday, January 12, 2018

Spring is not too far off and that’s the time when the birds start getting noisier in our woodlands. The Lancashire Wildlife Trust’s Alan Wright investigates a couple of the stars of the Dawn Chorus.

Read more
Spring
 
Great British Holidays advert link

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter


Subscribe or buy a mag today

Local Business Directory

Lancashire's trusted business finder

Job search in your local area



Property Search