AN East Lancashire MP has launched his 2022 competition to find the best independent shops in his constituency as the struggle to recover from the coronavirus pandemic continues.

MP for Rossendale and Darwen, Jake Berry, has launched two contests - one in the Darwen half of his seat and the other in Rossendale.

Voting will run through to Friday September 16 at 5pm with the winners and runners-up announced shortly afterwards.

Conservative backbencher Mr Berry said: “Our local independent shops are the backbone of high streets and town centres across Darwen, the West Pennines and Rossendale, but have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.

“I’ve brought the Independent Shop Competition back this year to celebrate the hard work and continuing commitment to our town centres that local shops have shown during what has been a very difficult two years for small businesses.

“Our shopkeepers work incredibly hard all year round supporting our local economy, creating jobs and keeping our communities’ vibrant places to live.

"Help say thank you to them by supporting your favourite before the competition closes on September 16."

"I am asking residents to cast their vote to support their favourite independent shop and show their appreciation for our great local retailers who make our towns and villages vibrant places to visit.”

You can find out more information, including how to vote for your favourite independent shop, by visiting