A DOG training club is closing down after 20 years due to a sharp drop in members and spiralling costs.

Rossendale Dog Training Club (RDTC) was founded in 1992 by former Rossendale dog warden Dave East and has trained more than 4,000 dogs.

It was the first of its kind in the North West to offer the Kennel Club’s Good Citizen Dog Scheme and members have represented the club at Crufts.

But Dave, 68, said he has taken the decision to shut down the club with 'a heavy heart'.

He said: “We have decided to close the club for a number of reasons, one being a fall in participants and the other being costs.

“I am really sad, but I decided it would be better to go out on a high than on a low.

“I have achieved a lot with the RDTC. More than 4,000 dogs and their owners have come through the club.

“Without RDTC around 10 other dog training clubs in East Lancashire would not exist.

“I am looking forward to having more down time and helping out in the Rossendale community.”

The father-of-two was Rossendale Council's dog warden for 26 years before he retired last year due to ill health.

The club has been a big part of the community taking part in community events such as Bury Agricultural Show and Bacup Carnival.

Dave said: “I would like to thank all members, past and present, for their loyal support and to wish them all the best for the future."

The last training session will be held on Thursday March 29 and will be followed by a 'Jacob Join' evening for past and present members at the Bacup Hub from 7pm.

For more details visit www.rossendaledogtrainingclub.co.uk