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'Trade being hit by Haworth Church closure'
Haworth has felt the impact of the closure of its parish church, according to a trader.
Johnnie Briggs, who runs the Bronte Walks tour company, told the latest meeting of the Bronte Country Tourism Partnership: “The closure has had a big effect because it’s left the village without a heart.”
The church has been closed since July while a programme of refurbishment is carried out.
Mr Briggs stressed the church’s importance as a focal point for tourists. He said Cliffe Castle, in Keighley, was also closed for renovation and contained many artefacts related to Haworth’s history. He suggested temporarily exhibiting the items in Haworth’s Old School Room building, as a means of attracting more people to the property.
“We have to develop some joined-up thinking to see how we can improve the quality of the visitor experience in Haworth,” he said.
Keighley Town Council special projects co-ordinator Alan Parry said displaying Cliffe Castle items at another location would not be simple. He said such a project would have to first go through Bradford Council’s asset management department.
- The Bronte Country Tourism Partnership agreed to repeat its financial support of a heritage bus tour.
The series of open-top bus tours around Keighley ran over nine days in August.
A total of 427 passengers were driven round the town’s historic sights and attractions by Graham Mitchell, of the Keighley Bus Museum Trust. The double-decker was operated on contract to the tourism partnership.
Partnership chairman, Matt Stroh, said he and the other group members would like to see the tour run again at the same time next year.
- Two people who will be playing an important role in Keighley Civic Centre, in North Street, were introduced to the meeting.
Gavin Farrar is from social enterprise group Confianza, which will be in charge of the building’s catering arrangements, while Julie Walker will promote the building’s educational, social and corporate events.
Miss Walker said school children who attended the centre’s murder mystery events would have a great day of entertainment, as well as a learning experience.
- The manager of East Riddlesden Hall said he was delighted to report an increase in the number of people visiting the attraction.
Jonathan Brewer said the figures included many more paying visitors, as well as National Trust members.
He said the hall had been successful at drawing in people who lived nearby, but had not previously visited the historic property.
He added he and his colleagues received a welcome boost when East Riddlesden Hall was named England’s Small Visitor Attraction of the Year at the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence.