Samlesbury Hall – Builds new Mayflower

18 May 2016

Samlesbury Hall near Preston has secured a £50,000 grant from Biffa Award; a multi-million pound fund that helps to build communities and transform lives through awarding grants to community and environmental projects across the UK, as part of the Landfill Communities Fund. The aim is to expand and improve on the current play facilities, creating a more historically relevant and educational play area.

700 year old Samlesbury Hall was the original home of the Southworth family whose early descendants were amongst the first pilgrims to set sail to America in the 17th Century aboard the Mayflower.  The journey overseas was treacherous and not many survived the trip, however the Hall frequently still welcomes visitors from across the Atlantic bearing the name “Southworth” and the ship is their link to Lancashire. The funding will be used to create a brand new playground complete with a replica of this iconic ship as well as a ‘child size’ Samlesbury Hall.

Interpretation boards will be used to explain the significance of the Mayflower.

With this unique new facility, which would be open and free for all to access, together with school visits, it is hoped to at least double the visitor numbers, which are at the moment 25,000 a year.

Sharon Jones, Hall Director said: 

“The project will bring more families to the Hall and give the local community a sense of belonging by encouraging them to get involved with their local heritage. We are looking forward to welcoming people who may not ordinarily have visited a historic house.”

Abid Salah – AHF Scout Group leader, Blackburn, said:

“When Gordon told us about the planned Mayflower play area development, me and all the leaders thought this was an excellent concept and yet another fantastic draw for local community groups. I will definitely be returning with my group, especially as the area will be free to use. The development will be a brilliant addition to Samlesbury Hall and no doubt will be used by all children that visit all year round… I have no doubt it will bring massive smiles to the faces of all children.”

Gillian French, Biffa Award, said: 

“This project is an excellent example of how the Landfill Communities Fund can help create fantastic community spaces for recreation and education.”

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