The historic Exchange building in Blackburn will this weekend host the town's first Christmas Tree festival .

The iconic building in King William Street is inviting families to delve into the history of the festive fir.

The Exchange is currently in the middle of a £9 million redevelopment as an arts, community and events hub.

This weekend, it invites the community to embark on a festive journey through time with its inaugural historic Christmas Tree Festival.

A celebration of past, present, and future, the event features themed trees meticulously crafted by children from schools across Blackburn with Darwen and dedicated volunteers from community organizations.

The creative teams - including Feniscowles School, The Making Rooms, and ARC (asylum and refugee community) - have poured their artistic talents into designing trees representing each decade from 1850 to the futuristic beyond.

Feniscowles School delves into the 1930s, showcasing handmade decorations inspired by the era when the first artificial trees were crafted by the same company that made toilet brushes.

The Making Rooms team brings a touch of futurism with a tree crafted using cutting-edge design and production equipment from the Fab Lab studios.

ARC volunteers transport the festival to the Dickensian era with a themed tree, paying homage to the decade when Charles Dickens himself read at The Exchange in 1869.

Funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, this free event marks the beginning of a comprehensive initiative to develop and explore the building's potential for future activities.

Caer Butler, director of operations at the Exchange, said: "Each tree, from 1850 to 2000 and beyond, reflects the creative research and imaginative design by children, teachers, and community volunteers.

"Let the historic journey unfold through each bauble and string of lights, celebrating our Christmas tree heritage over the last 170 years and into the future."

The Christmas tree lights will be illuminated by the Mayor of Blackburn with Darwen Cllr Parwaiz Akhtar at 4pm on Saturday.

The event takes place on Saturday ,November 25, from 4pm to 9pm and Sunday, November 26, from 12pm to 4pm, and on the weekend of December 2 and 3 from 12pm to 4pm.