Tourism is booming across an East Lancashire borough as the number of people visiting has risen in the last 12 months.

More than 1.5million visits were made to Rossendale’s various attractions in 2018, according to new statistics released by Marketing Lancashire. This is up 4.2 percent from 2017.

The results have been driven by a rise in day visitors, who spent £63.5 million, 8.7 percent more last year.

And the number of tourism related jobs rose from 778 to 816.

Leader of Rossendale Council, Cllr Alyson Barnes, said: "It’s really good to see tourism growing in the borough and this is due to the hard work of the many brilliant attractions we have as well as the support Rossendale Council has given to support events and facility upgrades.

"In 2019 we are developing a new Visit Rossendale website and our Twitter and Facebook feeds have seen sharp rises in followers and engagements.

"The Council is also committed to pursuing a mountain biking trail centre at Futures Park that has the potential to bring in an additional 100,000 visitors per year."

Rossendale Council say it is committed to supporting the expansion of the leisure and tourism on offer in the borough, and in 2018, the council helped kick off the development of a National Lottery Heritage Fund grant to support to expansion of the Whitaker Museum.

It has also partnered with The Hill at Ski Rossendale on a project to improve facilities at the ski centre via a Sport England grant.

And new fingerpost tourism signage has been installed in Bacup and Rawtenstall town centres that complement the wider economic development work that has been taking place.

In addition, £12,890 was issued to support twelve community events across the borough that have also attracted visitors.

Director of Marketing Lancs, Vikki Harris, said: "Lancashire’s food and drink and retail attractions continue to flourish, with both areas exceeding £1billion in direct expenditure by visitors, confirming our belief in Lancashire as the UK’s top gourmet destination.

"We’re confident that many exciting developments and new investments across the county will continue to drive growth, helping to attract high value visitors from further afield as well as boosting our domestic tourism offer."