COUNCIL bosses say they are still in the dark as to how a multi-million funding boost for Darwen can be spent.

Earlier this year it was revealed Darwen would receive a cash injection of up to £25 million from the Government’s newly-announced Towns Fund.

But borough growth and development boss Cllr Phil Riley told members at a council forum meeting that officers were still waiting to receive a prospectus from the Government laying out the criteria as to how the money can be spent.

Cllr Riley said: "We are none the wiser. The promised prospectus has not been issued and we have no firm plan.

"That's not to minimise the announcement and the size of the money but we don't know any more than we did when the announcement was made."

Cllr Dave Smith said: "As Darwen councillors, we are being asked in the street and people are ringing us to ask how this money is being spent. We are in limbo at the moment and it would be good to be able to tell our constituents what is happening.

Cllr Denise Gee said: "Jake Berry clearly said he was going to talk to the residents of Darwen and see what their thoughts were as to how they would like that money invested in their town and talk with council officers to see what was feasible.

"Theree will be a proper consultation first - not a hasty decision.

As part of the Government's Towns Fund, both Darwen and Nelson will be eligible for up to £25 million of financial support.

Government bosses say the scheme will support towns to build prosperous futures.

Towns across England will work with the Government to develop innovative regeneration plans.

There were 100 places across the country invited to develop proposals for a new generation of multi-million-pound Town Deals

Communities, businesses and local leaders will now join forces to draw up ambitious plans to transform their town’s economic growth prospects with a focus on improved transport, broadband connectivity, skills and culture.

The Government promised to soon publish a prospectus to guide towns through the process and set eligibility criteria for funding.

Once approved, new Town Deals will improve connectivity, provide vital social and cultural infrastructure and boost growth – with communities having a say on how the money is spent.

Decisions on funding any proposals will be made in due course.