EAST LANCASHIRE has received some welcome news in that almost £143,000 in National Lottery funding will help support local people and communities to tackle the climate emergency.

The funding from The National Lottery Community Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK, will focus on supporting a long term, sustainable homegrown textile and clothing system with diverse communities in East Lancashire.

Super Slow Way, which is hosted by The Canal & River Trust, has received the National Lottery funding to develop its Homegrown Homespun project, a collaboration with designer Patrick Grant, his social enterprise Community Clothing and North West England Fibreshed.

It is an innovative regenerative natural textile and clothing project which has far reaching benefits for the environment and nature, for the health and cohesion of the community, and for the stimulation of a local green economy along the Leeds and Liverpool canal corridor.

The communities of Blackburn and Pendle will reclaim further disused urban spaces and use them to grow fields of flax and woad, to produce linen textiles, and eventually clothes, in a completely sustainable natural system.

Growing fibre flax and woad represents a return to a traditional land use for this region, reinvigorating once commonplace sustainable regional agricultural practises.

In the process of growing, new biodiverse habitats for wildlife will be created and soil systems will be regenerated, encouraging local residents to get outside and enjoy the natural surroundings on their doorstep.

It is hoped this project will encourage people to adopt practices that are protective of the natural environment and this important wildlife corridor, in an otherwise urban environment.

Homegrown Homespun also hopes to bring communities together to create growing spaces across the area, ranging from small areas on unused land on or near housing estates to medium sized commercial agricultural plots.

Laurie Peake, director of Super Slow Way, said: "We are delighted to have received this vital funding thanks to National Lottery players.

"The grant will enable us and our partners to continue to develop Homegrown/Homespun, a community-driven regenerative textile ecosystem that aims to create lasting physical connections between people and their land across East Lancashire."

Nick Gardner, head of climate action at The National Lottery Community Fund, said: "We know communities have a big role to play in responding to the climate emergency.

"That's why, thanks to National Lottery players, we are pleased to be supporting community-led action to address waste and consumption.

"These projects will bring people together to create a lower waste society, that will not only help us get to net zero, but also support communities to prosper and thrive."

This new community funding comes as recent National Lottery research found four in five adults in the North West (77 per cent) think local communities are responsible for acting on climate change.

The research also shows that over half (55 per cent) are worried about the impact of climate on their local community.