A FRIENDS group is aiming to take on charitable status in order to aid the development of Rowley Lake.

Burnley Council has been trying to develop the area around the lake, Brun Valley Forest Park, for some time, to boost tourism in the area.

Now, the Friends of Rowley Lake, which held its first AGM earlier this month, has taken on the task after council officials said money for the job had dried up.

The authority has attracted several thousand pounds in grants to develop facilities at the lake, but residents have decided to take it upon themselves to raise funds for future work.

Friends’ chairman Tony Harrison, also a councillor for Brunshaw, said: “We’ve only just set up the charity — we’ve only got £28 in the kitty.

“We want to raise funds for improvements round the lake. The first thing we’re aiming for is a disabled fishing facility.

“The council ran out of money and so we need to raise funds for it. There’s been a lot of investment already, and we’re hoping to enhance that and do more.”

To help the charity get off the ground, Burnley Council leader Mark Townsend was sponsored to compete in the Pennine Lancashire 10K, but had to pull out because of a family illness.

Mr Harrison said: “We found someone to run in Mark’s place and I think we’ll have collected around £300.

“We’ve got a constitution in place now and we’ll be pushing for charitable status soon.”

A Burnley Council spokesman said: “We appreciate the help and support that friends’ groups give to a number of our parks.

“Brun Valley Forest Park is Burnley’s newest green space and it’s great to see residents getting behind it and working closely in partnership with the council at such an early stage.”