PART of the River Blakewater that runs under Blackburn town centre has become visible for the first time in more than half a century.

The culvert carrying the river under the town was exposed yesterday as part of the Cathedral Quarter development.

The ambitious £28million plan to transform the town centre includes the strengthening of the concrete tunnels built during the town centre redevelopment of the 1960s.

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Cathedral Quarter development manager Clare Turner said: “At the moment you cannot drive over the culvert.

“We are replacing the roof and strengthening the walls the roof will sit on.

“When it is finished it will enable that area to be used by vehicles and improve the culvert as a whole.”