EAST Lancashire's six district authorities will share more than £6.5million in government coronavirus cash aid, it was announced today (Thursday).

And the county council has received and another £11.3m.

The grant from Department of Housing, Communities and Local Government is to support local authorities provide extra services and make up for income shortfalls caused b y the Covid-19 pandemic.

The funding has not been ring-fenced, meaning councils will be able to determine how to spend the additional funding in order to best protect public health, local vulnerable people and the running of vital services.

All-purpose authority Blackburn with Darwen Council has been given £4,102,748.

Its neighbouring district councils also received cash grants: Burnley has been granted £920,404, Hyndburn £682,058, Pendle £673,825, Ribble Valley £100,000 and Rossendale £337,995.

Lancashire County Council - which provides major services such as highways, education and social services to the six district authorities - has been given £11,315,235.

Blackburn with Darwen Council leader Cllr Mohammed Khan said: "This is good news.

"It will do for the time being. I am pleased that the government has listened to councils but there is a long way to go with this pandemic yet."

Burnley MP Antony Higginbotham said; "This is hugely welcome. The extra funding almost doubles the amount of money Burnley Council has received since the start of the pandemic and will allow them to be able to continue providing vital local services for the people of Burnley and Padiham this winter."

Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson said: "The £670,000 announced today is hugely welcome. It will ease financial pressures on Pendle and ensure it is able to continue providing vital local services this winter"

Cllr Mark Townsend, the leader of Burnley Council, said: “Whilst still falling short of meeting the council’s shortfall in finance arising from the consequences of the pandemic, we welcome this announcement.

"We are playing a key role in reducing the spread of the virus, providing essential supplies to our most vulnerable residents, and supporting local business. Local government working with local people will, I believe, make the difference.

"So I am pleased that the Government has listened to local leaders and has gone at least part way to providing the extra support we need to balance our budget. We will continue to lobby Government to provide in full the cash we have spent and need to support residents and business through this challenging time”.