A community centre has hosted a free curry night for families and residents from across the town.

The "Warm Nights at Bangor" scheme is a new partnership between Bangor Street Community Centre in Blackburn and Cadent, the UK's largest gas distribution network, to help those living alone, residents and families save energy and costs at meal times.

The event was open to anyone and while people were encouraged to ring ahead to avoid food wastage, this was not a necessity.

The weekly events will run for the coming weeks and then again from November.

With temperatures dipping below freezing this week, the event last Thursday was attended by more than 100 people made up mostly of families and the elderly.

Bangor Street is one of 10 centres based in the North West who are acting as "Centres for Warmth" and the only one in Blackburn.

The project is based on identifying and partnering with community groups in areas of high deprivation, fuel poverty, and risk to carbon monoxide poisoning, who are located close to areas where the company is carrying out mains replacement work.

The centre will also be working with Cadent to create more awareness of home energy efficiency, carbon monoxide safety and the Priority Services Register over the coming year.

The centre which is largest community centre of its kind in the region hosts over ten community groups and charities as well as daily classes and health and fitness sessions.

Centre manager Iqbal Bhai said: “The Warm Nights event is open to all but we asked centre users and charities to signpost people who would really benefit from spending an evening at the centre.

“Some people attended and did not want any food and just asked a cup of tea and somewhere to spend time out of the house so they did not have to put the heating on.”

Cllr Suleman Khonat, mayor of Blackburn with Darwen, helped to serve the food on the night and spoke to local families.

He said: “I was so delighted to be part of the event.

“It is reminded of the old days when our fathers and grandfathers could get together to share their daily thoughts and talk and just have a cup of tea.

“Blackburn is a fantastic place to live in and it is things like this that really brings us together.

“Blackburn has a very good record of charities and the community working together during times of great need.

"I am very grateful to the organisers.

"There were people of all ages there - children, mothers and fathers. It was fantastic to see.”

The next "Warm Nights at Bangor" event will take place on Saturday, January 28 from 7pm. All are welcome.

Booking is not required but does help the centre to ensure adequate space is available. You can call 01254 661991 for further information.