THE restoration of a historic hall is another step closer as Town Hall chiefs have agreed to come on board and help breathe life back into the early 19th century building.

A charity is working to bring Rock Hall in Moses Gate Country Park back into use and has applied for National Lottery Funding.

And this week, the organisation Banana Enterprise, received news that Bolton Council would be its partner for the Rock Hall Reborn Funding bid.

This was essential to get the £4 M Heritage Funding bid off the ground


Jayne Allman, Banana Enterprise Network CEO, said: "We are so absolutely thrilled, I burst into tears when I found out the council were partnering with us.

Charity invited to bid for £3 M to restore Farnworth's Rock Hall

"We should hopefully hear back from the Heritage Fund in September with a funding decision on our £4million bid.

"This is a key milestone for our project though.

The Bolton News: Charity, Banana Enterprise, will submit their bid tomorrowCharity, Banana Enterprise, will submit their bid tomorrow

"We are so excited! We know the final hurdle is the Heritage Fund but to get this far is a huge achievement for our small charity.

"Our Charity Banana Enterprise Network, which we started as a social enterprise 8 years ago, is only small but we have big plans for the Hall if given the chance by the National Lottery Heritage Fund."

"We are just ordinary people attempting to do an extraordinary thing for Farnworth.

Campaigners apply to make listed hall a ‘community asset’

"We admit that the £4million funding bid is the biggest we have ever written but we hope we have done you all proud.

"We have support from the Heritage Trust Network, our steering group members, professional partners and the community and now the Council have agreed to support our funding bid too, and we are very thankful.

"Together we can do this.

"Our passion for heritage buildings started many years ago when we joined the National Trust but never in a million years did we ever expect to find ourselves attempting to save a much loved community building like Rocky.

"The journey so far has been up and down but we have never given up hope.

The Bolton News: Rock Hall, Moses Gate Country Park, FarnworthRock Hall, Moses Gate Country Park, Farnworth

"Now we hope the National Lottery Heritage Fund can help us by backing our project financially and allow us to re-purpose a much loved building and keep its amazing paper making history alive for future generations.

"We cannot do this project without continued support and the whole community is at the forefront of our proposals.

"Please do continue to join us on our history making journey."

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

T B Crompton was a pioneer and developed a unique paper-drying process, which he patented.

In 1982, Rock Hall, now a Grade-II listed building, was opened as a visitor centre, forming the focus of Moses Gate Country Park. It was the headquarters of the Croal Irwell Valley Countryside Warden Service and housed the offices of Bolton’s park rangers until the service was scrapped in 2014.

The hall was previously used as a visitor centre for the country park up until 2014.

Since that date the hall has remained closed and unoccupied.