ONE million listeners will hear the story of a Northwich heritage landmark when it features on national radio this month.
The Lion Salt Works, in Marston, will feature on BBC Radio 4 programme Open Country on August 21 as part of a wider piece about the impact of the salt industry on the Cheshire landscape.
Presenter Felicity Evans interviewed the site’s industrial archaeologist Chris Hewitson, who explained the role of the Lion Salt Works during a period in history when Cheshire produced 86 per cent of the nation’s salt.
The programme will also focus on the delicate £9.9million project to restore the 19th century buildings - which have stood derelict since the Salt Works closed in 1986 - and develop the site into a living museum.
Chris said: “The programme makers showed a real interest in how the Lion Salt Works played a key role in the history of Cheshire's salt industry.
“They were particularly fascinated by the remains of furnaces and open pans where the salt was boiled.
“It was a great opportunity for the Radio 4 team to see the restored buildings before fit-out and gain a real sense of the life of the salt works, which hopefully should come across well in the finished programme.”
The Radio 4 team also visited Northwich Woodlands and Ashton’s and Neumann’s Flashes, which were created by brine pumping and rock salt mining, the Anderton Boat Lift, which was used to transport salt, and Winsford Salt Mine, Britain’s oldest working mine.
Clr Stuart Parker, Cheshire West and Chester Council's (CWAC) executive member for culture and economy, said: “We were delighted to have the opportunity to showcase this unique restoration project to a national radio audience.
“When it opens in spring 2015 the Lion Salt Works will be a heritage attraction of national standing, offering a first-class visitor experience focusing not only on the history of this fascinating site but also how the industry impacted upon Cheshire’s people, economy and landscape.”
The Lion Salt Works is hosting an open day on Saturday, September 13, from 10am to 4pm, as part of the national Heritage Open Days initiative.
For more information visit heritageopendayschester.co.uk The restoration is being funded by CWAC and the Heritage Lottery Fund, with a £200,000-plus contribution from the Manage+ European Programme.