THE charity working to save Historic Rock Hall has been awarded almost £100,000 by The National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Banana Enterprise Network has been handed £99,600 by the fund for their ‘Rock Hall – Saving Farnworth’s Paper Making Heritage’ project.

The grant will fund the project to produce a conservation plan for the hall, review feasibility study design options and further develop architectural plans for Rock Hall.

The funding will also enable the charity to achieve a recognised quality mark standard, which is one of the council’s requirements for the proposed community asset transfer of the hall to the charity.

The project, which will begin in April, will also include some fun, educational activities for all ages to encourage more people to get involved including a community archaeological dig, within Moses Gate Country Park.

Jayne Allman, the charity’s CEO, said, “This is a key milestone achievement for everyone involved.

“It is very difficult to obtain funding for projects like ours, so we are extremely thrilled and so very grateful to The National Lottery Heritage Fund for accepting our funding bid.

“We believe the archaeological dig will be the first of its kind in Farnworth and we look forward to seeing what is found”.

Rock Hall was built in 1807 by the Crompton family of paper-makers.

TB Crompton was a pioneer and developed a unique paper drying process, which he patented.

The hall closed in 2014 and has been unused since then.