THE National Lottery Heritage Fund has been asked for a £250,000 grant to repair and restore Darwen Tower.

If the money is awarded it will top up £68,000 already raised locally.

The application has been made by Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council in partnership with residents and groups, including Darwen Rotary.

A decision is expected early next month.

As part of the bid, a new video, by Darwen-based Northern Heart Films, has been released.

It documents the history of the tower, opened in 1898 to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee, and the freedom for Darreners to ‘roam’ the moors.

Cllr Dave Smith, who represents the Darwen West ward, said: “Darwen Tower is the proud symbol of our town and no matter where you travel, as soon as you see it; you know you’re home.

“The council has invested in putting together a really strong funding bid for the renovation work to the tower with the help of groups and individuals from right across Darwen.

“We all want the same thing, to see the tower protected and enjoyed for future generations to come.”

John Jacklin, from Darwen Rotary, said: “We have now raised more than £68,000 which demonstrates the strong sense of feeling to save our tower.

“As part of the bid, we undertook a survey and a vast majority of the respondents said that the tower really does represent home.

“The funding would be used to repair the tower and also create a legacy – educating future generations and providing virtual tours.”

The video, with a script by theatre group ‘Beggars Belief, will be screened at Darwen Library Theatre on Tuesday November 19.