EAST Lancashire business leaders have backed the Prime Minister's decision to make Prince William and Kate Middleton's wedding a public holiday.

The royal couple today announced they will tie the knot at Westminster Abbey on Friday April 29 next year - and millions of workers and schoolchildren will get the day off to celebrate.

It will mean two long weekends in a row for many workers as the previous week is the four-day Easter break and the Monday after is the first May bank holiday.

Dennis Mendoros, High Sheriff of Lancashire and founder and managing director of aerospace company Euravia Engineering and Supply Co Ltd, based in Kelbrook, said the extra day off could boost the economy.

He said: “I think it will be something that will increase the spirit of workers and can only be a benefit.

“It will be a day of celebration that we deperately need at the moment, and hopefully the momentum will continue and help boost the economy.”

Mike Damms, chairman of the East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce, said: “It will lift the national mood. Most businesses will be able to absorb the extra day.”

But David Fishwick, who runs a minibus and minicoach business in Colne, said he will be in work on April 29.

He said: “I think it’s good news, but why a public holiday?

“I don’t think it will affect businesses much as most self-employed people will be working that day anyway, and we will probably be open that day too, although most of the staff will be off.”

Registry offices across East Lancashire are preparing for a rush of couples wanting to marry on the same day as the royal couple.

In Blackburn, two couples are booked in. One other couple have booked their wedding at Ferrari’s restaurant in the Ribble Valley.

The humanities department of Witton Park High School in Blackburn is considering using the Royal events in their history lessons.

Hyndburn Borough Council leader Peter Britcliffe said: “I think it’s wonderful news we’re being given an extra public holiday.

“It will give the nation an opportunity to celebrate, which we need in these difficult times.

"It will boost the ecomomy in terms of souvenirs and people taking a break in this country over the four-day weekend.”