Burnley Empire Ltd receives National Lottery Resilient Heritage award

We are delighted that Burnley Empire Ltd, the organisation behind saving Theatre at Risk Burnley Empire, has received funding through the National Lottery Heritage Fund’s Resilient Heritage scheme.

The Resilient Heritage funding of £44,000 will provide the group with governance advice, allow them to carry out necessary surveys on the building, and also commission an update to the 2016/17 Viability Study to bring it in line with the recently published Burnley town centre plan and news of the University of Central Lancashire’s campus expansion.

Burnley Empire has been on our Theatres at Risk register since the list began in 2006. It is the sole survivor of five variety music halls in Burnley, the only purpose-built Victorian theatre of its kind in East Lancashire, and has been lying vacant in an increasing state of dereliction since 1995.

The announcement of the National Lottery grant is the latest good news for the Empire, following its acquisition by Burnley Empire Ltd in December last year. The ownership, achieved through the support of the Theatres Trust, National Trust and historical theatre consultancy Theatresearch - and the generosity of an anonymous donor - provided renewed optimism that the Empire could once again become a vibrant community venue in the heart of Burnley. This latest grant provides the starting point for that work to begin.

Theatres Trust will continue to work with National Trust and Theatresearch to advise and support Burnley Empire Limited in their journey to restore and reopen the Empire as a resource for the local community.

  • Burnley Empire Viability Study Phase One Report | 2016 Download pdf
  • Burnley Empire Viability Study Phase Two Report | 2017 Download pdf