PREPARATIONS are now well underway for the Queen’s visit to Blackburn on Thursday.

The town centre is being spruced up to ensure that everything is looking its best for Her Majesty’s arrival.

Northern Rail is hard at work painting the railway station, and bunting is going up along the route to welcome the Monarch to the town.

Hoardings have been put up around construction work in the town centre, and barriers, which will be removed as soon as the Queen has left the cathedral, will be erected overnight on Wednesday.

The Queen, accompanied by His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, will arrive to attend the Royal Maundy Service at Blackburn Cathedral mid-morning on Thursday.

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The Royal party will arrive at the West Door of Blackburn Cathedral and will be met by the Dean of Blackburn, The Very Reverend Christopher Armstrong.

The Queen will be presented with a nosegay before attending the Maundy service, where she will distribute the Maundy money.

A council spokeswoman said: “The hoardings shielding the building sites are nearly all up now showing the exciting plans for the regeneration of the town which is in a crucial phase.

“A big part of preparations has been businesses coming up with their own ideas, dressing windows, and stalls.

“Pure Hair Design on Higher Church Street are doing a window display and serving traditional afternoon tea to customers.”

More than 100 volunteer marshals have been recruited, mainly from the council, who will be helping out on the day so everybody knows where they are going and what they are doing.

Public transport services will be operating and people will be signposted to the cathedral when they get off buses in the town centre.

Blackburn Market will open at 7.30am, ahead of the big event.