East Lancashire re-brand salutes Wilson’s legacy

Ideas developed for East Lancashire by Tony Wilson and his partner Yvette Livesey have been implemented with the re-branding of the area as Pennine Lancashire and the decision to progress plans for a new 'fashion tower' in Burnley, to be called Weave.

Pennine Lancashire rebrand

Music mogul and regeneration champion, Wilson, who died in August, and his partner Yvette Livesey, together produced a report for East Lancashire's housing market renewal initiative, Elevate, three years ago called Dreaming of Pennine Lancashire.

The report spoke of ushering in a new era for East Lancashire's former mill towns by using sport and culture to improve the area's image and benefit the economy.

Max Steinberg, chief executive of Elevate, told guests at an event to launch the new brand how Livesey Wilson Associates' ideas, including a fashion-based tourist attraction, a football theme park, designer allotment sheds and a series of linked public squares, were being developed.

Steinberg said: "Anthony was a larger-than-life character and when we asked him for a 'big idea' to help us regenerate an area that desperately needed it, we got more than we bargained for – a whole host of transformational projects.

"Today is our chance to salute him for the amazing work that he did for Pennine Lancashire along with his partner Yvette Livesey.

"Anthony is very much missed by us all, but the vision he created is now starting to be realised. The Pennine Lancashire brand and the projects we have heard about today are part of his legacy, and I am pleased to announce that we are continuing to work with Livesey Wilson Associates, in the person of Yvette Livesey, to realise the dream of a Pennine Lancashire where people want to live, work and spend time."

Elevate has attracted £167m of Government funding to tackle Pennine Lancashire's failing housing markets. The area covered by Elevate includes Blackburn with Darwen, Burnley, Hyndburn, Pendle and Rossendale.

Steinberg added: "The new brand will now form the spearhead of our campaign to raise the profile and improve the image of Pennine Lancashire outside the area, to attract visitors and encourage house-buyers and business investors."

The new brand was developed with the input of Peter Saville, the legendary graphic artist who designed much of the merchandise for Wilson's Factory Records.

Livesey said: "Pennine Lancashire was Anthony's passion for the past three years and mine too. I know the area well, having grown up here, and I believe fervently in its potential. I am determined to continue to work to make sure this extraordinary region takes it rightful place among other world class areas."

The Weave will transform disused cotton mills in the Weavers' Triangle area of Burnley into gallery space, a café and restaurant, commercial workspaces, fashion and lifestyle shopping, entertainment, and a rooftop bar with panoramic views. The plans for the Weave were advanced from Livesey Wilson's idea by Ralph Ardill, who led the development of the world renowned Guinness Storehouse brand centre in Dublin, Ireland's number one visitor attraction.

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A wonderful “memorial” to a great guy.

By Paul Dickens

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