Businesses across the north west are being asked to step-up to support a choir competition.

Over the past five years, Last Choir Standing has become an integral part of the county's schools extracurricular activities.

But due to funding withdrawal, the 2019 competition was going to be its last year.

However, choir host and compare, Duncan Heather, said he didn't want to see the project come to an end and has attempted to organise and run the competition through private sponsorship and funding.

Mr Heather said: "It’s an ongoing process but currently we have two generous sponsors - Pennine Wealth Solutions and David Wilson Homes.

"The competition gives the children something to improve for and all feedback has been positive in that regard.

"The most important thing about it though, is getting children singing within a choir, which helps mental health and confidence and is such a pleasure to see so much enjoyment from all."

Last Choir Singing is a non-profit, county-wide choir competition for KS2 primary school choirs.

Each year, the competition has six heats, culminating in a final at King George's Hall in Blackburn.

In the build up to the choir entry application, Last Choir Standing offer workshops and school visits, where an experienced singing/music professional will get the entire school singing.

It also offers workshops to under-qualified teachers who may perhaps run the choir through lack of staffing options.

Mr Heather added: "So far, the competition has reached 150 schools, has 8000 choir members and 25000 audience members, and assists some of the most underprivileged areas of the North West and also have had an impact on the huge Muslim community in Blackburn where some children haven't experienced music or enjoyment of singing at all until our visits."

The competition has up to 60 choirs enter each year, with between 20-50 people in each choir.

Last Choir Standing also visit an extra 20 schools per year to workshop and further the interest of involvement.

Mr Heather said: "Their aim is to continue the amazing work the program has achieved so far and also to grow year after year, but we are still seeking further funding and sponsorship to keep this incredibly rewarding project running."

The competition is open to all junior school children in East Lancashire from year three to year six.

Any local businesses who would like to be involved, or schools wishing to enter, can email stating FUNDING in the subject box.