BLACKBURN’S bid to become a city as part of next year’s celebrations of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee has been backed by the town’s three neighbouring MPs.

Ribble Valley’s Nigel Evans, Hyndburn’s Sara Britcliffe and Rossendale and Darwen’s Jake Berry have all endorsed its sixth bid for the status.

Blackburn with Darwen Council believes the town has a compelling case for consideration, with the final decision to be made by Her Majesty, on ministerial advice.

The application, which is backed by the Lancashire Telegraph, has taken on board feedback from previous bid applications, with the borough bosses believing it is ‘in a powerful position to be successful’.

Already, the Bishop of Blackburn the Rt Rev Julian Henderson and the town’s Labour MP Kate Hollern have supported the bid.

And now the town’s three neighbouring Tory backbenchers have joined them.

Mr Evans, deputy speaker of the House of Commons, said: “I wholeheartedly support Blackburn’s Platinum Jubilee bid to become a city in 2022.

“Blackburn has a proud history and future and the city status would recognise both.

“Blackburn is quintessentially the modern British identity with its diversity, and levelling up agenda being at its heart.

“From clogs to gigs in a generation with an emphasis on its dynamic young population driving Blackburn forward, this recognition would indicate to Britain and the world that Blackburn is charting its own future as a modern get up and go city of this millennium.

“Any extra investment in Blackburn and upgrading of status has knock-on impact on surrounding areas – there is a form of multiplier.

“It will benefit the whole of East Lancashire.”

Former northern powerhouse minister Mr Berry said: “The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee is a wonderful opportunity to recognise communities up and down the country with city status.

“As a Cathedral town it would seem an appropriate to revisit Blackburn’s ambitions to become a Cathedral City.

“The bestowing of such an honour I am sure would unite the communities of both Blackburn and Darwen in celebration.”

Miss Britcliffe said: “East Lancashire is blessed with so many towns and villages, including the picturesque ones we have in Hyndburn and Haslingden.

“The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee will be celebrated across the country in many different ways.

“I wish Blackburn the best of luck with its application.”

Several others have also announced that they are throwing their hat in the ring. for the ward to mark the Queen’s 70 years on the throne.

The town last made a bid for city status in 2002 but neighbouring Preston won.

The competition will close on December 8.