EAST Lancashire’s civic leaders have spoken of their pride in the area’s Olympians, and their hopes of a “lasting human legacy”.

Ribble Valley MP Nigel Evans has also called on all the area’s MPs to join together and organise an East Lancashire-wide homecoming parade for our local stars.

He said: “All my congratulations must go to the athletes from East Lancashire who have made us proud.

“I think it would be a lovely idea for a homecoming parade in the area.

“It is important that they are recognised not only nationally, but also by the people in East Lancashire who have supported them.

“I will be speaking to my office about how we can make this possible.”

He added: “Anyone who had doubts about how Britain was going to hold the Olympic Games has been proved wrong, and anyone who believed there will be nothing to show for it in three or four years’ time will also be proved wrong.

“We have got to grasp this opportunity now to build on the excitement of the games, and the Government needs to make sure that funding is available for sport after the Games finish.

“It will pay dividends, not only in terms of success at the 2016 Games in Rio, but we will also have a happier, healthier population.

“I have already noticed a lot more people cycling around the Ribble Valley, and a sense of real excitement about sport.”

Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson said he would “love” to see an East Lancashire homec-oming parade, on top of one already planned in Colne for gold medal-winning cyclist Steve Burke.

Mr Stephenson said: “I’m tremendously proud of all the local athletes who have been involved in the Olympics, and I think there will be a trem-endous lasting legacy.

“It’s been hard not to have been gripped by Olympic fever in East Lancashire .

“Every pub and cafe has had it on, and it’s a topic that’s dom-inated conversation.

“I think it will give young people a new set of role models they can look up to. There will be a human legacy, as well as an economic legacy of Olympic contracts for local companies.”

Blackburn Council leader, Coun Kate Hollern, said: “I’m very proud of Blackburn Harr-ier Holly Bleasdale, and all of the East Lancashire athletes.

“Holly gave it her best, and I’m sure that all of the perfor-mances will have inspired more young people to take up sport.

“I’ve been down to the Black-burn Rovers Indoor Centre at Ewood, and I’ve seen 18-month-olds, to grown men, enjoying football, and it’s wonderful.

“Everyone seems fired up for sport, and that can only be a good thing for health.”