AN initial meeting of a new task force to breathe fresh life into Haslingden has been declared a success.

Earlier this month, councillors in Rossendale agreed a £100,000 fighting fund for the valley town as part of its 2014-15 budget.

And an initial get-together saw councillors, traders and members of groups including Haslingden Community Link and Haslingden Street Fair, swap ideas.

Coun Alyson Barnes, leader of Rossendale Council, who chaired the meeting, said: “It was a good first meeting to set the scope for the task force.

“Haslingden has a lot to offer and we need to focus the task force on building on all the positives that exist locally.

“We will contact local businesses and community organisations to seek their involvement.”

It is hoped the £100,000 can be used to lever in external grant aid for new initiatives.

The funding was found after regeneration work was identified for Rawtenstall, through proposals for the former Valley Centre site, and Bacup was awarded £2 million as part of the Townscape Heritage Initiative.