A REAL ale festival in aid of Blackburn’s £6million Youth Zone is coming to town, it was announced.

The Blackburn Beer Festival will be held in May, and will see a selection of ales from across the north west and beyond enjoyed by hundreds of visitors – with all the proceeds going to the Youth Zone, Jubilee Street.

The festival has been organised by a committee of local people, who wanted to bring a festival to Blackburn after visiting one in Bolton.

Partner at Farleys Solicitors, Ian Liddle, is one of the organisers.

He said: “Farleys wanted to help bring a festival to Blackburn as it was a real shame there wasn’t already something like this in our town, especially after seeing how successful festivals are in other towns.

“And we’ve chosen the youth charity Blackburn Youth Zone to benefit from all the proceeds, so it’s definitely a worthwhile venture.”

Thwaites used its extensive brewing contacts to arrange the eclectic collection of ales, and Farleys and PM&M Accountants, in Challenge Way, Blackburn, are the main festival sponsors, alongside manufacturing firm Cardboard Box Company.

David Gorton, from PM&M, said: “We are asking local companies to sponsor all parts of the festival, from the barrels of beer to the pint glasses, so all the money we take on the door and in beer sales goes straight to the Youth Zone.”

And president of Blackburn Rugby Union Football Club, Paul Westhead, said: “We expect around 1,500 people will visit over three days, where they can expect up to 60 real ales, plus a range of lagers and ciders, and live music will add to the atmosphere.”

The festival will take place over first bank holiday in May from Friday 2 to Sunday 4, at Blackburn Rugby Union Football Club, in Ramsgreave Drive.

To sponsor a barrel or to find out about sponsorship opportunities email events@blackburnyz.org or call 01254 292000.