A BLACKBURN businessman has succeeded in his bid to bring a revolutionary fitness-based programme aimed at beating addiction to his home town.

Sales director Darren Smith, brought up in Mill Hill, was so impressed by the 180 Project based at the Crossfit Clitheroe Gym on Primrose Business Park he held a fundraising festival earlier this month to expand its activities.

The 180 Project CrossFit Festival, at CrossFit Deltafox in Lower Darwen, complete with a visit from East Lancashire champion strong man Mark Felix, raised £3,360.

This amount was enough for the gym ­— Mr Smith’s home fitness centre ­— to start the project for men and women with substance addiction and alcohol problems from Blackburn, Darwen and nearby towns.

Mr Smith, 45, said: “The festival was an amazing success and raised £3,360. The 180 project is now available in Blackburn and we have been inundated with requests to join.

“Classes have already started in Blackburn for ladies and the male classes are due to start within the next two weeks.

"Blackburn with Darwen has one of highest death rates in England and Wales because of drug and alcohol addiction. We hope we can change and save lives by running classes for people in early recovery, helping them get and stay well, breaking the cycle of substance abuse, crime and prison.”

The 180 Project, based on an American model, has been operating in Clitheroe since 2016 and combines Crossfit training and traditional 12-step recovery programmes.