BLACKBURN is to get a second giant interactive billboard offerings prime digital advertising space in front of its Victorian Town Hall.

The decision to put the 38-foot-high structure with a rotating mobile phone shaped screen in the town centre follows the success of the original at the Barbara Castle Way/Larkhill Interchange in generating cash for the council.

Opposition politicians have objected to the siting of the mast and electronic hoarding where it will obscure the historic frontage of the Grade II listed building.

The first 18 square metre digital screen has already covered its costs and is making Blackburn with Darwen Council a profit to plough back into front-line services.

Work has already started to install the second electronic billboard, 28foot by nine foot screen on a 10 foot high post, later this year which is being bought from Preston-based ADI UK Ltd.

Council regeneration boss Cllr Phil Riley said: "The first digital hoarding has been a great success and is generating the council revenue.

"We hope the second one will be similarly popular with advertisers and it gives us the opportunity to top use it ourselves to promote events and feature public service notices.

"We used the current screen to urge people to support Moonira Hinglotwala in Masterchef.

"The hoarding can change between portrait and landscape according to content and rotates through almost 360 degrees. This brings the latest digital technology to the heart of our historic town centre."

Council Conservative Leader Cllr John Slater said: "In front of our beautiful Victorian Town Hall is not an appropriate place for this huge and intrusive piece of modern technology. I am not sure it is appropriate for the council to go into the advertising business.

Local historian and Liberal Democrat council election candidate Simon Hugill said: "I think this structure will strike a discordant note in front of the town hall."

He added: "I have concerns about the financial viability of this type of project.."

The original billboard has an estimated audience of more than 600,000 travellers every fortnight.