SENIOR councillors found almost £1million a year to support East Lancashire’s historic industrial museums as they agreed a council tax rise of more than £35 for hundreds of thousands of homes.

Burnley’s Queen Street Mill and Helmshore Textile Mills have been given an annual £936,000 to ensure their long-term future.

The cash package was agreed by Lancashire County Council’s budget meeting as it agreed the maximum 3.99 per cent increase in its part of the council tax from April 1. Half the increase is ring-fenced for adult social care

This will add £35.82 to the annual bill of the majority of Band A terraced homes across Burnley, Hyndburn, Ribble Valley, Pendle and Rossendale. The five boroughs are set to increase their council tax for 2020/21 by around £3.30 a year.

The two mill museums were closed by the previous Labour administration at County Hall in 2015 and rescued after the Conservatives took back power in 2017.

Burnley Council leader Charlie Briggs said: “I welcome this money for the museums. Our history heritage needs to be protected.”

The budget package included an extra £5m for the county’s road network, £1.5m in 2020/21 rising to £3m a year to subsidise and bring back bus services, and £500,000 extra for the county’s libraries.

Cllr Geoff Driver, leader of the county council, said: “We know that people want to see extra investment in the county’s roads, library services and bus services.

“I am also pleased that money will be used to support our museums in Briercliffe and Helmshore.”

Labour spokesman Cllr John Fillis told the budget meeting: “People are paying more in council tax than four years ago and getting less under this Conservative administration.”

Blackburn with Darwen Council, an all-purpose authority, is expected to increase its council tax by 3.99 per cent next week adding £47 to most household's bills.