A 100-year-old clock tower in the centre of Great Harwood looks set to get a facelift thanks to the efforts of local people.

The town square structure is in poor condition and urgently needs work to clean and waterproof the clock face.

It is estimated a full restoration could cost up to £90,000, while vital repairs alone amount to £30,000.

But members of the Great Harwood Community Action Group have come to the rescue after vowing to dedicate 2005 to raising funds and applying for grants to bring the clock back to life.

Members said they would also raise cash to improve the whole town square area.

The group believes local businesses and residents will be glad to donate cash and believe the town's biggest festival, the Great Harwood Fair, will encourage civic pride and make people give generously.

Hyndburn Borough Council agreed it could afford £5,000 towards the cost, but said it simply could not afford more.

Great Harwood Community Action Group (CAG) chairman Alan Whalley offered to raise the cash at a meeting of Great Harwood area council.

He said: "Great Harwood's regeneration must start in the town centre. We're ambitious and want to refurbish the clock and environment around it - the cobbles and the whole town square - to give people a sense of pride."

Councillors backed the scheme and thanked the group for its support.

The clock was built in 1903 as a tribute to one of the country's first textile chemists, John Mercer, who lived in Great Harwood from 1791-1866.

Mr Mercer was credited with inventing a revolutionary process in which cotton was treated in chemicals to improve its quality and ability to absorb dye - known as Mercerisation.

Flowers to be planted around the clock tower, which bears a plaque carrying Mr Mercer's name, will reflect the colours created in the Mercerisation process.