EXTRA help is being given to eight museums across East Lancashire to develop their ‘brand’ and entice more visitors through the doors.

The forward-thinking proposals to develop social media links and improve ‘front-of-house’ work have secured £71,000 from the Arts Council for the ‘We Are The Champions’ venture.

Last year, the likes of Towneley Hall, Gawthorpe Hall, Queen Street Mill, Blackburn Museum, Helmshore Mill Textile Museum, Haworth Art Gallery, Clitheroe Castle Museum and The Whitaker Museum combined for the ‘Wonderful Things’ initiative, trumpeting the area’s valuable artefacts.

And now the same collective has united to promote ‘workforce champions’ who will develop better Twitter and Facebook links, and swap ideas between the institutions to increase footfall, as well as enco- uraging more volunteers to step forward.

Simon Goff, head of green spaces and amenities at Burnley Council, which co-ordinated the bid, said: “We’re delighted to receive this funding from the Arts Council to help us develop the Pennine Lancashire Museums partnership.

“Visitors to Towneley Hall and any of the other museums in Pennine Lancashire enjoy a first-class experience, and this funding will allow us to ensure we are constantly striving to make this experience the best.

“The social media and audience development strands to the project will ensure that we are engaging with our visitors in the ways they want, and we hope as a result visitors to all the museums in the group will increase.”

The museums shared in a £1.4million development fund, established by the Arts Council, over the next two years.