BURNLEY'S Queen Street Mill Textile Museum has been given a highly commended award from the Lancashire and Blackpool Tourism Board.

The award came in the category of Small Tourist Attraction of the Year, beating off stiff competition from many other museums.

Catherine Pearson, assistant keeper at the museum, said: "We are incredibly proud of what we have achieved over the past few years.

"The award clearly reflects the team's hard work and I think that people who come and see us really see and value that."

Last year the museum, which boasts the world's only surviving 19th century steam powered weaving mill, as well as a cafe, increased its visitor numbers by more than 100 per cent.

Queen Street Mill was built in 1894/5 by the Queen Street Manufacturing Company.

This company was set up in 1894 as a workers co-operative.

At the height of its prosperity the mill employed around 300 people.

Despite its early success, competition from abroad and developments in technology meant that Queen Street Mill was forced to close in 1982 with a loss of 95 jobs.

The mill was bought by Burnley Borough Council in 1983 and was opened as a Museum by HRH. Prince Charles in 1986.

The Museum was bought by Lancashire County Council in 1992.

In 1999 Queen Street Mill Textile Museum, together with Helmshore Mills Textile Museum, were designated as having outstanding collections of national importance with regards to the textile industry.

Over the past ten years Queen Street has become a popular filming location.

Fred Dibnah, Bill Oddie and Rik Mayall are just some of the personalities who have filmed there. Queen Street Mill also provided one of the locations, alongside Helmshore Mills Textile Museum for the BBC's 2004 period dramatisation of Mrs Gaskell's "North and South".

It is open Tuesday to Sunday 12-5pm and is free for Burnley residents.