ROSSENDALE and Darwen Conservative MP Jake Berry has been accused of ‘disappointing’ a town over government cash to revitalise its high street.

On BBC Radio Four’s Today programme the Northern Powerhouse minister appeared to confirm that Bacup had won a £150,000 grant to draw up plans to rejuvenate its town centre.

His words on Friday caused a social media storm as residents believed its bid for the cash from the first stage of the £675million Future High Streets Fund had been successful.

Later that day Rossendale Council’s chief executive Stuart Sugarman received a letter from Mr Berry telling him the bid ‘has not been selected to progress to the next round of the Fund’.

The borough’s Labour leader Alyson Barnes said: “A lot of people in the borough got very excited, especially on social media, because they thought - as I did - that we had got the £150,000.

“This has left a lot of residents very disappointed.

“Mr Berry should be more careful about what he says on national radio.”

He said he made clear he was talking about Bacup having a priority place in next year’s bidding round.

The minister denied saying it was one of 50 towns awarded £150,000 to draw up a business case for millions more.

Mr Berry said on Friday: “Of course 50 areas are going forward today.

“There is a second round in this and some areas, like Bacup in Lancashire, have been passported through to the next round of bidding.”

His letter to Mr Sugarman said: “Despite its clear merit, Bacup has not been selected to progress to the next round of the fund.

“It has therefore been selected to receive bespoke feedback from the department, with the aim of improving the bid to enable it to be passported into the next round of funding.” Mr Berry said: “It’s pity that what I said has been misunderstood or misinterpreted by those who should know better.”