THE leader of Blackburn with Darwen Council has backed plans to bring an athletics facility to Darwen.

Coun Kate Hollern said the borough council would do ‘all it could’ to help set up what would effectively be a running teack and an area for field events, at Blacksnape playing fields.

It comes after the town’s MP Jake Berry held a meeting with the man who came up with the idea, former town council deputy chairman Steve Duncan, the council’s chief executive Harry Catherall, and athletes from Darwen Dashers running club.

Mr Berry said the chief executive had responded positively to the idea and had said the council would look into it.

Coun Kate Hollern said it was a good idea.

She said: “I would fully support anything that brings new sports facilities into the borough.

“In the current economic climate we are really keen to help others help the borough.

“It would be great if we could bring this facility to Darwen and the council will do all it can to help the people involved.”

Mr Duncan originally proposed the idea last August, saying a facility was needed in the town so Darreners didn’t have to travel to Witton Park.MP Jake Berry said it was early days but there had been positive talks.

He said: “Mr Catherall said the council would hold discussions to see whether an athletics facility is possible.

“We need to see if the local schools would use it for sports days.

“I hope it is something everyone can get behind but, obviously, we need to work out the costs.

“We want to ensure Darwen gets its Olympic legacy.”

Mr Duncan said grant funding was available to cover the majority of costs.

He said: “I look at it like Newrad Fisheries in Watery Lane, which I was involved with.

“We got a Lottery grant and then money started pouring in from all over, and I think that will happen with the athletics facility.

“The infrastructure is already there as it is flat and and the changing rooms are already there.

“The only council money needed should be for an initial feasibilty study.

“My ambition in life is to see a gold postbox in Darwen when a local person wins in the Olympics.”