ANOTHER major bid has been drafted to ensure East Lancashire’s museums can make the grade for visitors for the next three years.

Just 18 months ago a ‘Pennine Lancashire’ consortium secured £3.6million to encourage younger visitors to the area’s cultural gems.

And now plans have been drawn up for a £1.5million initiative, over three years, which would be funded by Arts Council England.

The eight include Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery, the Gawthorpe Textiles Collection at Gawthorpe Hall, Haworth Art Gallery near Accrington, Helmshore Mills Textile Museum, Queen Street Textile Museum, The Whitaker in Rawtenstall, Turton Tower and Towneley Hall.

Work would concentrate on enhancing the collections and exhibitions at the eight locations, as well as ensuring there were programmes to promote ‘mental health and wellbeing’.

More group visits would also be encouraged and each venue would be given assistance to develop their own schools curriculum.

Burnley Council is co-ordinating the Pennine Lancashire Museums bid and if the collective is successful they would hear back this summer and be able to spend the money from April 2015.

Coun John Harbour, Burnley Council’s leisure and culture member, said: “Our museums across East Lancashire are a treasure trove of exciting and imaginative items and displays and we need to make the most of them.

“This funding would allow the museums to develop further, attract more visitors and make them an even better day out for people of all ages.”