BLACKBURN'S King George's Hall and Darwen Library Theatre are shutting their doors 'for the forseeable future'.

The council-owned entertainment venues will close tonight.

The Empire Theatre, Blackburn, will remain open as will Burnley Mechanics and Oswaldtwistle Civic Arts Centre

Cllr Damian Talbot, Blackburn with Darwen Council's leisure boss, said: "King George's Hall and Darwen Library Theatre close tonight.

"It follows clear government guidance on public gatherings.

"They are both closed for the forseeable future.

"Theatres around the country are shutting following the government guidance. We have to put people's health and well-being first.

"We would hope to postpone rather than cancel events and reschedule them for later in the year.

"If people cannot attend rescheduled events, we would refund their ticket price."

The Clitheroe Grand Theatre is reviewing the situation while Colne Muni and Barnoldswick Music and Arts Centre remain open as normal.

The Boo Theatre in Rossendale is closing and Bacup and Stacksteads Carnival, scheduled for June 18, has been cancelled.

Several other Blackburn with Darwen Council buildings have also closed.

They include Blackburn and Darwen Leisure centres, Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery, Witton Park Arena and cafe, Turton Tower, and the branch libraries in Mill Hill, Roman Road, and Cherry Tree.

Blackburn Central Library and its Darwen counterpart will run a reduced service.

Empire Theatre chairman Michael Berry said: “We have talked to all our staff and they are happy to continue to work with the many shows we have booked over the coming weeks."

Mr Berry added:“The safety of our audiences, staff and artists is of paramount importance and we are making every effort to keep everyone safe from coronavirus.

“If government guidelines change and theatres are ordered to close then we would comply. We have had a lot of patrons asking if we would be continuing with shows and asking us not to cancel things.

“We will be liaising with artists and promoters on a daily basis as this is clearly an ever-changing situation.”