AN East Lancashire council has been picked out for praise at the daily Downing Street coronavirus press briefing.

Hyndburn was praised from the Number 10 lectern for its swift response in helping local firms during the Covid-19 pandemic.

It was one of three council's congratulated by local government secretary Robert Jenrick for its speed in issuing emergency business grants on behalf of the government.

Ina league table measuring the England's 342 local authorities by their success in issuing the money, Hyndburn Council was placed in the top three. It has paid out £20millon to 1,700 firms - 98 per cent of the total eligible.

At the Downing Street press conference yesterday evening Mr Jenrick said: "I would like to congratulate those councils who have worked extremely hard, sometimes around the clock, to get those grants out to the businesses that desperately need them.

"I would like to congratulate Chichester, Ealing and Hyndburn Councils, who are the three highest performing councils so far in England."

Cllr Miles Parkinson, leader of Hyndburn Council, said: “It is wonderful to receive recognition for the hard work that has been done.

"These business grants were a lifeline to many people, so it was crucial we issued them as quickly as possible. We are a small council with few resources and less employees than most. Our staff worked incredibly hard in difficult circumstances including long hours and weekends to ensure this money, a lifeline to many local businesses, reached them as soon as possible."

Hyndburn MP Sara Britcliffe said: "This has been a huge effort and massive thanks."