A NEW national study shows Blackburn with Darwen residents are the most active they have ever been.

The Active People Survey by Sport England figures for 2012/13 show 25.8per cent of people in the borough took part in sport or active recreation three or more times a week – the highest recorded figure.

The figures represent a rise of more than 9.5per cent from the first survey in 2005-6, when 16.3per cent of residents were taking part.

Blackburn with Darwen is now just 0.2per cent off the national average, which stands at 26.1per cent, and 0.3per cent off the regional average which stands at 26per cent.

Council health boss Mohammed Khan said: “Through our re:fresh programme, local people can now fully indulge their passion for sport and leisure accessing a huge range of leisure, health and wellbeing activities that suit their age and ability.

"We are continuing to strengthen our offer and I would encourage as many people as possible to get active for 2014.”

Council leisure boss Damian Talbot said: “To see these new figures and the turnaround in our performance is fantastic and shows just how successful the initiative has been.”