BLACKBURN is to have a new adidas trainer named after the town.

The sportswear giant will launch the Blackburn SPZL at a major exhibition in the Cotton Exchange which will feature over 1,000 pairs of adidas footwear from past and present.

The Blackburn trainer has been designed by Darwen-born Gary Aspden who has worked for adidas for over 20 years and its green and red colour scheme has been inspired by the Red Rose of Lancashire

A limited edition Nightsafe version of the Blackburn trainer will be available to collectors at the exhibition. Only 200 pairs will be released featuring the charity's logo and are sure to attract interest from all over the world. All proceeds from the limited edition trainer will go to Nightsafe which helps homeless and vulnerable young people in Blackburn and Darwen.

A full programme of events including gigs, talks and screenings will take place within the exhibition

space, featuring special guests and friends of adidas. Tickets for the events will request donations

to the Nightsafe charity.

Blackburn played a key role in the rave culture of the 90s and the popularity of branded sportswear. Gary Aspden spent much of his youth in the area and his work has been heavily influenced by that. He is responsible for creating the adidas SPEZIAL range and recently designed branded trainers for Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher. The exhibition will feature many trainers from his personal collection.

Councillor Phil Riley, Blackburn with Darwen Council's executive member for growth and development said: "This all came out of a conversation during a chance meeting on the street in Darwen on one of Gary's visits home.

"Since then a lot of work has taken place behind the scenes and it's just brilliant that the shoe and exhibition is now a reality.

"I think that says a lot about the attitude we have here, making sure we grasp every opportunity.

"There is a growing interest in Blackburn from some really talented people, like Gary. Without a doubt the best creative projects are really driving improvements and now we have a global brand Adidas coming.

"I'm really looking forward to seeing the town come to life and lots of different people getting involved.

"We are also expecting some national and international visitors. Businesses will benefit and also Nightsafe is going to get another huge boost."

The adidas SPEZIAL exhibition runs from Friday, October 4 to Sunday, October 20 as part of the British Textile Biennial, a month-long celebration of East Lancashire's textile heritage commissioned by Super Slow Way which will see a variety of events, exhibitions and workshops being held across East Lancashire.