Borough actor praises mill for creating community hub
A well-known face from TV was impressed by the effort being put in to make an arts and leisure hub at a landmark building.
Matthew McNulty, from Atherton, toured Leigh Spinners Mill as part of his role as patron of award-winning voluntary group Leigh Film Society.
General manager Jo Platt showed him around the areas of the mill which will be used by local artists, businesses and community groups when it reopens.
Matthew, who has appeared on TV in shows including The Bay, The Mill and Jamaica Inn, spoke of the importance of having activities and cultural groups based in towns such as Leigh to draw in working-class talent.
He said: “I feel very privileged and proud to be part of Leigh Film Society. The people are all volunteers and all have the right moral compass and ethos.
“What they have achieved in a short space of time is pretty phenomenal.
“I’m very impressed with Leigh Spinners Mill too. It’s exciting and I feel like there’s a really positive community spirit.
“I can definitely see how vibrant and buzzing it will be. Places like Leigh sometimes get a little bit forgotten about and overlooked and this will create something people can look at and appreciate. It’s something everybody in Leigh and the surrounding areas can take pride in.
“Leigh isn’t just part of Manchester, it’s a place with its own history and identity. It’s great that places like this will strengthen that identity, because a lot of great people and things have come from Leigh.
“It’s massively important that the arts and creativity are part of the make-up of Leigh. Working-class towns are not just made up of manufacturing and manual graft, having a creative hub like this will show people working-class towns can be about artistic and creative graft too.”
The mill will be home to an array of businesses and charities ranging from artists’ studios to furniture restoration to gyms and sports facilities to drama spaces and music studios and classrooms.
The hosts of the tour were also delighted to welcome the high-profile visitor to the Park Lane site.
Ms Platt said: “It was great to host Matthew McNulty at the mill, to show him the work under way in preparation of reopening and to introduce him to the many businesses, charities and other organisations that will be operating from the mill.
“Matthew is an exemplary role model and a worthy ambassador for the area. It’s really great to have his support for the project.”
Mrs Costello said: “For small charities like Leigh Film patron support is really important.
“Matthew McNulty keeps in touch with us and taking the time to visit means so much to the volunteer team.
“He fully supports our ethos and how we use film to connect with audiences.
“We are hoping to work more closely with our patrons once the new community cinema is complete at Leigh Spinners Mill.”
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