DEAF people across East Lancashire have been left stranded after a charity called in administrators - with the expected loss of 70 jobs.

East Lancashire Deaf Society (ELDS), which was based in Heaton Street, Blackburn, but also had an office in Keirby Walk, Burnley, is also facing a Charity Commission probe.

Home support, interpreters, family assistance, education services and nursery provisions were all provided by the organisation, which was first set up in 1998.

But an official notice has confirmed that administrators Leonard Curtis have been appointed by the High Court for ELDS, which also had premises in Cannon Street, Preston, amid suspected cashflow problems.

Those trading entities affected are said to include Sign Communications NW, Sound Solutions, Kings Nursery, Kings Court, Lancashire Rose Care Service, Home Solutions and the Parthenon Greek Restaurant.

Cllr Damian Talbot, Blackburn with Darwen Council's cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: "This is very concerning news.

"The services provided to the deaf community are very important and the council has a major interest in ensuring deaf people can access the help and support that they require.

"I would hope that a solution can be found, to benefit the deaf community, and the council will be investigating the background to this and what the options are for future service provision."

Under ELDS, the grade II listed Number 33 King Street in Blackburn, which once housed the town's assembly rooms and later the borough's social services office, was transformed, at a cost of £3.5million, into an enterprise centre.

Cllr Charlie Briggs, leader of Burnley Council, added: "These services will be very important of a number of people in the community and should not be withdrawn."

He said he planned to approach Burnley FC in the Community to see whether extra provisions could be made for the deaf community in the borough.

An inquiry has also been opened into how the charity was run over the past few months.

A Charity Commission spokesman said: "We are aware of concerns relating to the governance and finances of the East Lancashire Deaf Society Ltd and we have opened a regulatory compliance case to examine matters further.

"In order to avoid prejudicing the outcome of this work we cannot comment further at this time.”

No-one from ELDS, whose Heaton Street offices have remained shuttered this week, was available for comment as the Lancashire Telegraph went to press.