One of the oldest churches and newest space for the arts will be open to the public as part of the Blackburn Heritage Festival on Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 September.

Volunteers at The Bureau Centre for the Arts, formerly St John’s Church and more lately the Citizen’s Advice Bureau will be hosting craft demonstrations and stalls, including making activities, a heritage trail treasure hunt and Victorian style pin-hole photos.

There will be an opportunity to take part in a ‘Paint the Town’ challenge where participants will be encourage to create a painting in a day on the Saturday and exhibit the work in the arts centre on the Sunday using the theme ‘Old Meets New’. The Bureau is open on Saturday 12th September from 9am – 6pm and on Sunday 13th September between 10am and 4pm.

Last year’s Blackburn Heritage Festival attracted an additional 29,000 visitors to the town centre compared to an average weekend.

Other activities include free guided history tours explaining the artwork and architecture of Blackburn Cathedral with an opportunity to climb the bell tower on Saturday, 12 September from 10am – 12 noon and tours at Blackburn Old Cemetery, the resting place for the Blackburn Giant, Fred Kempster and the founder of Blackburn Orphanage James Dixon.

Organiser of the Blackburn Heritage Festival and Manager of the Blackburn BID, said: “The festival will showcase Blackburn’s most modern projects, alongside historical buildings. The day is sure to uncover the wealth of history and beauty that lies hidden throughout the town.”