PUBS across Darwen have hailed the success of the first Darwen Real Ale and Cider Festival.

The 10-day event, which took place late last year, saw an estimated 4,000 extra pints sold across the 15 venues that took part.

And a new late summer date has now been set for this year’s festival, which will be held at the same time every year from now on.

The event was funded by Darwen Town Council and organised by the chairman of the town’s Bar U scheme, Adam Hulme.

Mr Hulme said: “I have spoken to the other pub landlords and managers and everyone has hailed it as a great success for our first event.

“Everyone saw an increase in footfall and a lot of new faces, with people coming to town from all over the county.

“One guy came from Wigan and ended up staying in town for three days.

“In total, there were about 4,000 extra pints sold in the venues.”

The event took place at the end of November and early December, but this year’s festival will be held earlier.

Mr Hulme said: “We are having it over the August bank holiday so this year it will run from August 23 to 26.

“We have shortened it from the 10 days as it will incorporate the bank holiday.

“It will be held on this bank holiday weekend every year going forward.”

Mr Hulme said organisers were also looking to combine the festival with music as well as looking to attract new venues.

Landlady of The Alexandra in Hindle Street Lynne Crowther said: “It went well and it was nice to see something like that in Darwen.

“From our point of view it was a great success and it was great to be able to promote the cask ale side of things.”