TWO East Lancashire towns will share more than £2million to revive the heritage of their high streets.

Burnley and Bacup will be able to use the government cash to unlock the historic features of their shopping centres in a bid to increase footfall.

The money comes from the £95m High Streets Heritage Action Zone programme delivered by Historic England.

Burnley has been awarded £1,261,420 and Bacup £1,085,000.

Both town are now eligible to bid for further money from a £1.57 billion Cultural Recovery Fund to tackle the impact the coronavirus pandemic has had local arts organisations.

Burnley’s High Street Heritage Action Zone is centred on Lower St James’ Street and its landmark Victorian buildings.

The town’s Conservative MP Antony Higginbotham said: “I want to see the high streets of Burnley and Padiham thriving again and have made this clear to the government.

“Lower St James Street hosts a number of historic buildings that are in desperate need of regeneration, and I’m pleased to see that the government has taken action by providing this much needed funding.

“Connecting the town centre with the new developments on Sandygate is great.”

Burnley Council’s Liberal Democrat leader and, until last week, its economic development executive member, Cllr Gordon Birtwistle said: “This is excellent news.

“It means we can extend and enhance the work we are already doing in St James’ Street and the town centre.

“This will help towards the restoration of our historic and heritage buildings to their former glory.”

Rossendale Council’s Labour leader Cllr Alyson Barnes said: “This is excellent news for the town.

“It will help restore Bacup’s historic centre for the 21st century.

“This builds on the work we are already doing there.”

Jake Berry, Rossendale’s Conservative MP, said: “This is great news for Bacup but it's only part of the story for the future of this wonderful town.

“We are going to continue to push for more government money for its revival.

“Bacup is a historic town in the beautiful borough of Rossendale.”

Catherine Dewar, North West Regional Director at Historic England, said: “Our high streets bring people together. They are places to socialise, shop, run businesses and be part of our local community. Investing in heritage improves people’s lives.”