The Lion Salt Works is proving a huge visitor success, despite being open for just 20 weeks. On Sunday 22 October it welcomed its 10,000th paying visitor. One of the UK’s newest visitor attractions, the unique site officially opened on 5 June, 2015. The Museum has fun, interactive and educational exhibits, including a dramatic sound and film exhibit and a ‘subsiding house’. Restored with a generous grant of over £5m from the Heritage Lottery Fund, there is an exciting year-long programme of activities that can be found at westcheshiremuseums.co.uk.
Councillor Louise Gittins, Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Wellbeing at Cheshire West and Chester Council, said: “One of the reasons for the Museum’s immediate success is that it appeals to a wide variety of people. Visitors delight in the interactive displays and enjoy learning more about salt – something all our bodies need to function properly. Other people are attracted by the 30-year restoration story and the buildings which are Grade II-listed and a Scheduled Ancient Monument.
“It is also a treasure trove for those who have a passion for industrial heritage and geology. Located on the Trent & Mersey Canal and having its own moorings and entrance directly from the canal, the Museum also attracts visitors passing on boats and narrowboats. The Museum also appeals to our youngest visitors for whom the specially-designed play area and butterfly garden are a ready-made area for having fun.”
The Museum has a large conference room seating up to 150 and this has already hosted plays, meetings and conferences. It is also available for wedding receptions.
For regular visitors to the Museum (an annual pass is available), the café has just launched a coffee loyalty card. For every eight coffees purchased, a ninth is absolutely free. For fans of Emma’s new winter gingerbread latte this could be a particular bonus. Coffee loyalty cards are available at the café.
The Museum was restored over four years at a cost of over £10m by Cheshire West and Chester Council and the museum gives a fresh insight into the story of salt and its significance to Cheshire and the UK. It is one of the last four historic open-pan salt-making sites in the world.
The Lion Salt Works is located in the heart of the Cheshire countryside but is just over 20 miles from the centre of Manchester. It is well-served by rail (Northwich and Lostock Gralam stations), footpaths and boat. The Museum has plenty of free car parking space and visitors can visit the café, themed play area and established Butterfly Garden free of charge.