The Scenic Route

Majestic viaducts, dark tunnels, ancient mill ruins, shady wooded groves… 

Lancashire’s new sustainable transport programme links up stretches of disused railway to create off-road greenways, and offers some brilliant opportunities for creative engagement.  Our project The Scenic Route makes a start, with an exciting series of artist-led interventions and community activities.

The creation of the East Lancashire Strategic Cycleway network is being made possible by government funding through the Regional Growth Fund and Lancashire County Council transport funding and led by our partners at Lancashire County Council.  Over the next few years, they will invest millions of pounds in joining up the dots of some existing but fragmented cycle routes based on old railway lines, working towards a more joined up network.  LCC have invited MPA to bring a creative dimension to the programme, and we are delighted to be working with them.

The LCC team worked with us previously on the hugely successful, European award-winning Padiham Greenway development.  They saw there just how much a creative programme can add, not just in design terms but also in building local involvement, sense of pride and real community ownership.

Initially our work will focus on two key routes.  The Valley of Stone Greenway will run from Rochdale all the way through Rossendale to Rawtenstall.  In Hyndburn, part of the Sustrans national cycle network, NCN route 6, will link Accrington down past Haslingden and Helmshore to Ramsbottom.

The Scenic Route is a programme of early interventions.  We start with community engagement activities in the neighbourhoods that will be first affected.  In Rossendale, that is Stacksteads, Shawforth and Whitworth, and in Hyndburn, around Woodnook and Helmshore areas.  See links at bottom of page for activity details.

It also includes two artist commissions, one to develop broad concept ideas, and one for an exciting demonstration commission at a key site.

Further information on the proposed routes and background to the project is on the East Lancashire Strategic Cycleway Network  webpage.  Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council are also delivering and part funding the Weavers Wheel route as part of the overall scheme.