EAST Lancashire residents who decline to shop in Blackburn are being offered a £50 reward to visit and explain why they don’t.

Researchers are looking for people from neighbouring towns to explain what they want in a retail centre.

It’s part of the Blackburn Business Improvement District (BID) steering group’s efforts to get more shoppers into the town’s stores.

The team is looking for residents of towns like Accrington, Burnley, Clitheroe, Rawtenstall, Preston and Nelson to come to Blackburn, have a look round and explain what puts them off.

Traders from the town will also visit other shopping centres nearby to see how they fo things.

People who want to join can register for the day in Blackburn on Wednesday, July 9.

The day is being run by independent research group ROI Team and organised by Laura Coughlin, marketing manager from the Mall and Harriet Roberts of the Blackburn BID team.

Applicants can register online at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/BlackburnBID or call the ROI Team on 07772 352804 Those selected will receive a short walking tour, a free lunch and refreshments, a £50 shopping voucher to spend in Blackburn and free parking.

Ms Coughlin said: “Perhaps Blackburn is on your doorstep and yet you prefer to travel to another town or shopping area or spend leisure time and shop with your family and friends.

“We want to know what you really think and what would make you come to Blackburn.

“We need you to be honest and tell us why you don’t come now and why you go elsewhere.”

Blackburn MP Jack Straw said: “You have to incentives people to take part in this type of research.

“It is a sensible investment in the town centre’s future.”

In the next five years Blackburn BID will invest £1.5 million collected from traders to make the town centre safer, greener and cleaner and promote events to make the town a more attractive place to shop.