ALMOST £9,000 was handed out to deserving groups as part of the Crown Paints and Darwen Town Council Community Awards.

The latest hand-out took place ahead of the town’s Christmas lights switch-on at the weekend.

It was the second round of awards under the scheme this year, which will see £30,000 given out in total, with £20,000 coming from the town council and £10,000 from Crown.

Cash from the awards will be used by the Royal British Legion to buy a new standard as the current one has become worn with age, while Darwen Brass will buy new instruments and the Friends of Darwen Cemetery will use its £2,000 award to repair headstones and finish off some family war graves.

Crown Paints support manager Vernon Kinrade said: “Crown Paints is very pleased to be associated with the community awards once again this year. It is really surprising how much good work goes on in Darwen, through a wide variety of organisations.

“It is inspiring to see people engaged in activities that benefit others and satisfying for us to be able to put something back into a community with which we have a 200-year relationship.”

Town council deputy chairman Trevor Maxfield said: “It is good that Crown is pumping money into the town, along with the town council.

“These are all very deserving groups that would otherwise struggle to get hold of this vital funding.”

The Crown Paints awards

  • £250 to the Friends of Sunnyhurst Wood
  • £1,000 to Tockholes Parish Council
  • £750 to AFC Darwen under-11s
  • £1,000 to Darwen Brass
  • £2,000 to the Friends of Darwen Cemetery
  • £1,000 to Darwen Days history and heritage group
  • £750 to Birch Hall Tenants Group
  • £629 to the Darwen branch of the Royal British Legion
  • £1,000 to Olive Park Bowling Club
  • £500 to The Albany