ONE of the cradles of the Industrial Revolution has been making a statement, around 200 years on.

Blackburn was chosen to host the first-ever national Festival of Making, with its wealth of manufacturing history.

And thousands of visitors engineered a warm welcome for a popular celebration of industry, enterprise, film-making, music and the arts over the inaugural weekend.

One of the patrons, designer Wayne Hemingway, praised Blackburn for backing the event, which was held across 14 venues.

“The thing that made us really happy was that people were going around the whole festival and getting involved,” he said.

“And there were a number of people who were coming up to us, who hadn’t been into the town centre for some time, who told us how good it was looking.”

Students from Blackburn College’s Get Set supported internship programme had the merchandising concession and teamed up with Rossendale-based designer Henry Holland to produce their’ Moving and Shaking at the Festival of Making’ t-shirt design.

Course leader Gabby Houlihan said: “Now we’re just looking for local businesses to come on board and talk to us.”

Mother-of-three Sarah Clark, 38, from Cheshire, said: “It’s the first time I’ve been to Blackburn and this wasn’t what I was expecting.

"Hopefully it will be back next year."

On a serious note, the festival played host to a conference which explored ‘the maker movement’, creativity and innovation.