About the Birchcliffe Centre

Coronavirus Outbreak

 Our charity, Pennine Heritage, is extremely sad to announce that the Birchcliffe Centre will be closed to the public until further notice.

 We will be back as soon as we can but in the meantime, if you do have any queries we can talk to you on 01422 844450, mobile 07443 844674 or 07952 857828 or via email at info@pennineheritage.org.uk

 Access to the Centre is available for tenants and visitors with arranged appointments.

Birchcliffe Centre

The Birchcliffe Centre is owned by the charity Pennine Heritage. Pennine Heritage was launched in 1979 as a Development Trust, registered charity and company limited by guarantee, to promote the environmental conservation plus the economic and social enhancement of the South Pennines.

The Birchcliffe Centre in 1899

The original interior of the chapel.

The Trust was created as a result of the efforts of its three founders, David Shutt, David Ellis and David Fletcher and their ‘3D’ campaign to save the magnificent Birchcliffe Baptist Chapel, Hebden Bridge, from demolition.  As is often the way – the only way to save it was to buy it!

The congregation at the chapel

This was achieved with assistance from the then Joseph Rowntree Social Service Trust (Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust today) for conversion to a northern base for a wide variety of voluntary groups.

Restoration and conversion work also received generous assistance from the Rowntree Trust as did the foundation of Pennine Heritage Trust as managers and landlord of the newly launched Birchcliffe Centre.

Inserting a new floor at balcony level, in the chapel created an expansive conference, exhibition and events venue. This was matched a year or two later by conversion of the adjacent Sunday School to a well-appointed hostel with accommodation for up to about three dozen residents. Further funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund enabled the creation of the mezzanine meeting/education room.

The centre is now home to the Pennine Horizons Digital Archive, the Hebden Bridge Local History Society and a number of valued tenants. The auditorium, mezzanine and studio space are all available for hire. All monies received go towards furthering the charitable aims of Pennine Heritage.