SIX East Lancashire conservation areas have been placed on a new “at risk” register created by English Heritage.

In Pendle, Brierfield Mills, Earby, Higham and Whitefield have been named along with Bacup and Rawtenstall town centres in Rossendale.

The new “Heritage at Risk” register, launched today reveals those areas at risk of neglect, decay or damaging change and many more give cause for concern.

Dr Simon Thurley, chief executive of English Heritage, said: “To find out for the first time ever what condition the nation’s conservation areas are in, we asked every local authority to complete question-naires for each of its conser-vation areas.

“Analysing the results, it is clear the problems fall into two main areas: what owners do to their properties and what councils do or fail to do to the streets, pavements, parks and public spaces.”

“These are difficult economic times but our research shows that conservation areas do not need time-consuming or costly measures, just prioritising as places people cherish, the commitment of the whole council and good management by residents and councils alike.

Bacup Conservation Area was designated in 1981. The report states that Bacup has a remote location and has not benefited from the improved rail and road links to Manchester as the borough’s main town, Rawtenstall, has.

Rossendale Council is currently in the process of completing a revised Conservation Area Appraisal to which English Heritage is providing grant aid.

Brierfield Mills Conservation Area covers the mid-19th century development of cotton and textile industry buildings alongside the Leeds and Liverpool Canal.

The report says it contains a fine legacy of substantial multi-storey mill buildings and single-storey weaving sheds.

Pendle Council and housing market renewal firm Elevate are trying to find ways to kick- start regeneration in the area which is proving difficult in the current market.

Burnley and Blackburn with Darwen Councils did not co-operate with the survey.