Full steam ahead for Cheshire museum as celebrity chef Ainsley Harriott serves up national award

10 August 2016

TV chef and best-selling author Ainsley Harriott celebrates the Lion Salt Works in Northwich being voted the UK’s Best Heritage project.

Today (Wednesday 10 August 2016) TV personality Ainsley Harriott presented staff at the Lion Salt Works with a prestigious National Lottery Award trophy.

The star is one of the country’s favourite TV chefs and well known for coining the catchphrases “Susie Salt” and “Percy Pepper” on Ready, Steady, Cook. Last year he swapped the kitchen for the ballroom as he starred in Strictly Come Dancing.

Ainsley took time out of his busy schedule to celebrate the achievement with the museum’s staff and volunteers at the museum, where a large steam engine has just taken up temporary residence for the rest of the summer.

The award-winning museum, which opened last June, received almost 6,000 votes to be named the UK’s Best Heritage project in this year’s National Lottery Awards - the annual search to find the UK’s favourite Lottery-funded projects.

Ainsley Harriott said: “This is a fantastic project, not just for the 15,000 people who have already visited but for future generations of visitors. It is great that National Lottery players have helped to bring to life the importance of Cheshire salt, which was used worldwide to salt fish and make cheese among other things.”

Lion Salt Works opened after a 30-year campaign to save the UK’s last open pan salt making site in Cheshire. A four-year restoration has turned a dilapidated structure into a museum, preserving a key part of the country’s industrial history through interesting and fun displays, including a light and sound show.

Cllr Louise Gittins, Cabinet Member, Communities and Wellbeing, Cheshire West and Chester Council, added: “This is a hotly-contested national award and it is an understatement to say we are delighted to win it. I believe the museum has won this award because of the infectious enthusiasm of its staff, volunteers, trustees and the way their passion has engaged the local community and all who visit the museum. Many thanks to The National Lottery and its players who have helped make this possible.” Added Councillor Stuart Parker, Shadow Cabinet Member - Communities and Wellbeing: “After being personally involved with the restoration of the Lion Salt Works over many years, I’m thrilled with this accolade that really places the museum on a national if not international map. Thank you to all who have voted, visited and supported the Lion Salt Works.” The museum wins a £3,000 cash prize, an iconic National Lottery Awards trophy and will attend a star-studded Awards ceremony, The National Lottery Stars, broadcast on BBC One on 12 September.


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