East Lancashire’s first ever gay pride festival could be held in Burnley this summer.

The event would consist of a day of colourful parades and activities and would be supported by local bars.

Already 158 people have joined the ‘Burnley Pride’ group and a number have shown an interest in helping plan the day.

Organisers hope the event will be similar to popular gay pride festivals which take place in Manchester and Blackpool.

Jay Howarth, who at weekends performs as alter ego Zanadu Minnelli in Burnley’s Guys as Dolls bar, said there was a strong desire for a pride event in the town.

He said: “Things are still at an early stage but there is definitely a will to make something happen.

“It just started off as an idea and I was asked to join a Facebook group for a Burnley Pride event.

“Since then a lot of people have joined the group and there has been a lot of interest in helping out.”

Next week discussions are due to take place between Burnley’s gay and lesbian community and the Lancashire Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) group.

Jay said: “We would like to get something sorted for the summer when the pride season takes place.

“There is a real thriving gay community in the Burnley area and there has been a lot of positive comments about the event.

“I’ve spoken about it for a few years now and I was asked to join this group as the main drag queen in the town. It’s all about spreading the word at the moment.”

Gordon Birtwistle, MP for Burnley and Padiham, said: “People enjoy these events and if it is properly organised then I think it is a good idea.

“They create a good atmosphere in the town and Burnley is famous for its excellent nightlife.

"I’m sure it will attract a lot of people.”

The meeting on Wednesday is expected to see more detailed plans drawn up for the event before discussions take place with Burnley Council and Lancashire police.

Coun Charlie Briggs, leader of Burnley Council, said: “I would welcome anything in Burnley if it brings people into the town.

"It would obviously be a boost for the bars and the shopkeepers as well.

“They are always very colourful events and very friendly and everybody seems to have a really good time.

“If they think they can get a good event going then go for it, more power to them.”

Manchester’s gay pride event, which includes music, comedy, stalls and a parade through the city, celebrated its 20th anniversary last year and attracts tens of thousands of people.

Meanwhile Blackpool’s event is now into its seventh year.