AN initial cull of factories helping disabled people into employment has missed East Lancashire, it has been confirmed.

But the long-term future of Blackburn and Burnley’s Remploy factories could depend on further talks with the government.

Thirty-six sites, including Bolton, Manchester, Oldham, Wigan and Preston, look set to be axed after Maria Miller, the Minister for Disabled People, announced her focus would be on assisting individuals rather than supporting institutions.

The factory in Bank Top, Blackburn, makes school furniture while the Burnley operation, on the Smallshaw Industrial Estate, off Accrington Road, is involved in packaging.

Between them they employ just under 50 people.

After talks with trade unions over the closures, the company said it would enter into discussion over its remaining factories.

A Remploy spokesman said: “In the second stage, Remploy will work with the Department for Work and Pensions to explore whether the remaining factory-based businesses and CCTV contracts could exit from Government ownership and, if so, agree how this might be achieved.”