A MUSIC mogul's work to raise the profile of East Lancashire will continue following his death, say to supporters of the project.

Salford-born Tony Wilson, who was working to rebrand the region through the Pennine Lancashire project, died of a heart attack on Friday aged 57.

He was widely regarded as the founder of the "Madchester" scene and was well-known for his world-famous Hacienda nightclub and Factory Records music label.

Mr Wilson, who had been suffering from kidney cancer, and his partner Yvette Livesey, from Oswaldtwistle, had been working with Elevate, the housing renewal company, to raise the profile of East Lancashire.

Elevate, a key driver of the Pennine Lancashire project, appointed Wilson/Livesey Associates to generate ideas to transform the area.

Their main idea was to rebrand East Lancashire as Pennine Lancashire. There were also plans for improvements across the region including a fashion tower, a football theme park, music events, public art, better rail links to Manchester and new sporting centres.

Max Steinberg, chief executive of Elevate, and council leaders who have worked closely with Mr Wilson have said his work will live on.

Mr Steinberg said: "I am shocked and saddened but his work will not stop. I spoke to him regularly and I would ask about his health then he would always turn the conversation around to Pennine Lancashire.

"I think this will be his legacy to East Lancashire.

"We are holding an important launch for the branding of Pennine Lancashire in mid-September and that has to go on.

"He wanted to create a vibrant, attractive place where people want to live and work.

"And I hope Yvette will carry on working with us."

Hyndburn Council leader Peter Britcliffe said: "Tony Wilson had some wonderful ideas and the contributions he has made will be seen in the future.

"It would be my wish to go ahead as planned."

Blackburn with Darwen Council leader Colin Rigby said: "He will be missed as will his interest and enthusiasm for East Lancashire.

"Tony was the ideas and contacts man but the project will move ahead."

Burnley Council leader Gordon Birtwistle said: "Tony Wilson was a friend of Burnley and he helped with the conservation work on the Weaver's Triangle along the banks of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal.

"It is sad he is no longer with us I am sure that his legacy will continue."