HUNDREDS of women across East Lancashire joined in the International Women’s Day celebrations – on land and water.

Among the events organised was the launch of a new floating arts centre in a converted narrowboat, named after the English suffragette, Selina Cooper.

The project is the brainchild of contemporary art organisation ‘idle women’ and is funded by the Arts Council England’s Creative People and Places programme.

The barge will host a series of artists-in-residence who will live and work on the narrowboat as it travels up and down the Leeds to Liverpool canal, with a variety of associated projects, events and talks are planned.

Rachel Anderson, caretaker of idle women, said: “We initially thought of idle women as a retreat, a place to recover and restore. But as the idea grew we realised that what we want is to create a space that both restores and activates, somewhere that inspires and grows our creative ambition.”

Peter Knott, area director at Arts Council England, said: “At the Arts Council we want people across the country to have the chance to enjoy art and culture. That’s why we’re investing in idle women’s tour. This floating arts centre will bring an exciting line-up of creative events to communities across the North West.”

Away from the waterways, organisers at Lancashire Women’s Centres (LWC), put on special events for women offering advice and services they can use.

The teams went spend Monday and Tuesday bag packing at Morrisons supermarket in Nelson and a raffle was held at the (LWC) in Burnley.

LWC spokeswoman, Amber Cowell, said: “Our open days and events were all about making women aware of the services we provide at the centres. International Women’s Day is extremely important and we used it to remind women in Lancashire they can come to us for advice about housing, jobs, money and family issues.

“Lots of women came down yesterday and it was a great success.”