A LOCAL authority has approved a new three-year health and fitness strategy aimed in part at boosting the recovery of residents from the coronavirus pandemic.

Blackburn with Darwen Council's executive board endorsed its refreshed 'Eat Well, Move More, Shape Up' strategy for 2022 to 2025.

It builds on a similar blueprint for 2017 to 2020.

The borough's health and wellbeing boss Cllr Damian Talbot told the meeting on Thursday night: "The ‘Eat Well, Move More, Shape Up Strategy 2017-2020’ has made significant progress.

"The strategy brought together key people and organisations with a shared purpose of getting Blackburn with Darwen moving more, eating well and aiming for a healthy weight.

"With the refresh of the strategy, there is now an opportunity to shift from a delivery focussed approach to a strategic approach, which advocates for sustainable change across the whole system.

"The refreshed and rebranded ‘Eat Well Move More’ strategy will support the recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic and build on the opportunities presented during this time and the partnerships developed during the last 18 months and there is an ambition to embed 'Eat Well, Move More' guiding principles through the borough’s recovery plans.

"The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the health inequalities within our communities in Blackburn with Darwen.

"Those living in the most deprived areas are more susceptible to the effects of Covid-19 and this further widens the health inequality gap.

"By increasing physical activity levels across our population and improving access to healthier and more affordable food, we can improve quality of life for everyone.

"Covid-19 has also highlighted other key issues for the population such as physical de-conditioning due to long term shielding and the impact of obesity on the risk of serious complications from Covid."