A COLOURFUL flower festival which has attracted thousands of people into Blackburn is set to return next year.

The Blackburn Cathedral Flower Festival will take place in the town centre next June, with its official launch taking place yesterday. (Wednesday)

Lady Shuttleworth officially marked the launch by planting new Fuchsia trees in the grounds of the cathedral.

The first festival, held in June 2016, attracted around 10,000 people during the four-day event which was organised by the Friends of Blackburn Cathedral.

Next year will see thousands of blooms will fill Blackburn Cathedral and make up contemporary installations.

It will also feature floral displays created by international renowned designers including Craig Bullock and Bill Dixon, as well as other artists from across the UK.

The Dean of Blackburn, the Very Rev Peter Howell-Jones said: "It's exciting that the flower festival is returning to the spectacular setting of Lancashire's cathedral next year.

"In 2016, the event attracted high praise and acclaim from visitors and professionals alike and brought thousands of people to the town from the whole of the UK.

"The festival is an event of national significance.

"I am sure that the Friends of Blackburn Cathedral, who are organising the event again, will create another spectacular visitor attraction."

Next year's festival will run for five days, from Wednesday, June 17, to Sunday, June 21.

Karen Brooke, one of the organising team members, said: "Since the success of the 2016 Festival, we have been asked numerous times when the event was returning.

"A festival of this scale takes an enormous amount of planning and we are thrilled we can bring the event back in 2020.

"We have already received an incredible amount of support from the council, local businesses, volunteers and visitors and we are looking forward to working with more partners over the coming months.

"We already have a packed programme around the festival in place, including a demonstration by international designer and floral artist, Tom de Houwer from Belgium, a celebration dinner and the popular "jazz and fizz" music and lights evening event."

Tickets can be bought by visiting www.blackburncathedralflowerfestival.com.