TENS of thousands of visitors are expected to descend on Blackburn for the town's hottest ticket of the summer.

Plans for the National Festival of Making have been finalised across 25 different venues, from Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery to The Making Rooms, The Exchange, Tony’s Ballroom, The Mall, Blackburn Cathedral and Cathedral Square.

Forty different listings have been devised for the weekend of July 6 and 7, catering for everyone from families and music aficionados to art lovers, foodies and film and fashion fans

Lauren Zawadzki, festival co-director, said: “The countdown is well and truly on to Blackburn with Darwen’s biggest event of the year.

“Organising a festival on this scale is definitely not for the fainthearted. We work hard to strike a really good balance between keeping what we know people love while adding in new, exciting things too and the feedback is always incredible.

“The Festival of Making is a fun celebration of all things ‘making’ – from the kitchen table to the factory floor, proudly showcasing the work of leading UK creative talents, alongside emerging and next generation artists.

“There’s also lots of opportunities for people to get involved and try their hand too at our many creative workshops while enjoying live performances, live music, and the fabulous food offer too.

“We want Blackburn to be seen far and wide as the natural home of making, both in the past - with the town’s rich links to the cotton industry - and looking to the future too, we have so much creative talent right here to celebrate.”

For months artists have been working with large businesses across the borough and wider on the festival’s impressive Art in Manufacturing programme.

Art installations will go on show for the first time at the event and are always a huge draw.

One new installation by emerging artist Nehal Aamir draws on the people and processes of Darwen Terracotta and Faience. Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery - celebrating its 150th birthday this year - has collaborated on Nehal’s works and will showcase it as part of the festival.

The festival is promoted by Blackburn with Darwen Council with support from Arts Council England and the Brian Mercer Trust, with backing from the UK Share Prosperity Fund.

For more on the festival - including the full programme and activities map - go online to www.festivalofmaking.co.uk or check out Blackburn BID's social media channels.