AN arts project designed to bring communities together in two areas of Burnley is set to benefit from a 104-year-old bequest from a philanthropist.

Edward Stocks Massey’s legacy has benefited artistic and cultural endeavours across the borough for more than a century, after he died without leaving any heirs in 1909.

He was a member of the renowned cotton, and later brewing, family and a choirmaster at St Luke’s Church in Brierfield, and left £135,000 for ‘the provision of education (whether mental, physical, technical, or artistic) and the advancement of science, learning, music or other arts for the inhabitants of Burnley’.

And one of the principal benefactors of his largesse will be a £12,500 award for a community engagement project entitled ‘Home’, in the Trinity and Bank Hall wards, which aims to bring people of different ages and backgrounds together.

Louise Taylor, the county’s interim children’s director, said: “Monies are allocated each year, subject to funding, to individuals and organisations in Burnley, Burnley Borough Council projects, Lancashire County Council projects in Burnley and also students from two Burnley sixth form establishments are awarded scholarships for university courses.”

Annual funding for the Stocks Massey series of lectures at Burnley Mechanics and the central library will top £5,570 and £2,000 allocated for an Arts Award project by Burnley Music Centre.

Work to develop the arts offering along the Leeds and Liverpool Canal will receive £3,000 and a £5,000 grant to support community events, also at the Mechanics, will be forthcoming. The bequest was merged with the Mechanics Trust 25 years ago.

The young people’s service in Burnley has been given £2,300 and just over £4,100 will go towards a subsidised theatre seat fund.

Several smaller awards have been made to Burnley Film Makers, Weavers Triangle Trust, Burnley Youth Theatre, Burnley Orchestra, St Peter’s Parish Church and Burnley Silver Alliance Junior Band.