A TOWN centre has been given a £150,000 government grant to make it fit for the 21st Century with the possibility of more to follow.

The cash from £675m Future High Streets Fund is for Pendle Council to develop a business case for the regeneration of Nelson's shopping district.

It will be used to work up the borough's previously announced masterplan to revive the heart of the town.

If the council's business case is accepted by the Northern Powerhouse minister Jake Berry and the Department for Communities and Local Government in the autumn, millions more could follow to turn the blueprint into reality.

Cllr Mohammed Iqbal, leader of Pendle Council, said: "We’re delighted Nelson has been chosen to develop exciting new plans for the future.

“We have ambitious plans for the town, working with local and regional organisations, retailers and local residents.

“Our aim is to make our vision for Nelson as a town centre fit for purpose in the 21st century a reality.

"We are working to ensure it’s a centre which will support the economic growth and health of the whole of Pendle over the next 15 to 20 years."

Pendle Conservative MP Andrew Stephenson said, “I welcome this news.

"This first tranche of funding is to assist Pendle Borough Council in making the possible case for securing part of the £675m pot.

"The government is right to recognise the challenges faced by our high streets and this significant funding is aimed to addresses these very challenges we see here in Pendle.”

Borough chief executive Dean Langton said: “We will develop a detailed and compelling business case in a bid to get through the next stage and the chance for some substantial government funding.

"This is a real step forward will dovetail with our new Masterplan for Nelson .”

The blueprint includes:

• creating a greater mix of uses in the town centre;

• re-creating the traditional high street feel was lost through major redevelopment in the 1960s;

• making Nelson a more vibrant destination;

• Developing community hubs; and

• bringing a range of health services on the edge of the town into the centre.