BLACKBURN town centre will get five new security cameras and two new police community support officers as part of a major anti-crime upgrade.

They will be paid for by traders as more than 100 CCTV devices in and around the main shopping area are put on the same network for the first time.

The money comes from the £1.5 million being raised by the Blackburn Business Improvement District (BID) through a levy on town centre businesses voted through last November.

The scheme’s steering group promised reducing crime and improving security would be a key aim for the cash raised if the ballot for the BID was successful.

Last night its chairman Mark Smith announced that in partnership with the Blackburn Businesses Against Crime Group and Lancashire Police, it would for installing five new CCTV cameras and relocating another.

It will also pay for two new PCSOs to patrol the Business Improvement District, one in Townsmoor and one in the central shopping area near The Mall and the Cathedral.

For the first time, the 100 plus CCTV cameras in the town centre run by The Mall, Blackburn College, Blackburn with Darwen council and Capita will be linked into a central control network.

The new cameras will be on Feilden Street multi-storey car park, at Matalan on Lower Audley Street, on Mincing Lane, near Asda Townsmoor and the corner of B&Q on Russell Street.

The camera on Barton Street will be repositioned to cover the Lower Cockroft area.

Traders will be given access to digital technology to identify individuals known to the police.

Exchange Coffee’s Mr Smith said: “We promised we would use the money raised by bid to improve security and tackle crime in the town centre. This is delivering that promise.”

Blackburn with Darwen borough regeneration boss Maureen Bateson said: “I am pleased to see co-operation between BID, the council and Lancashire police delivering improvements to people and traders’ safety in the town centre to complement the ambitious regeneration plans around the Cathedral Quarter.”

More than 350 traders pay a one per cent business rate BID levy, raising £309,000 annually for five years.