Chorley is set to celebrate a historical link to the USA next year as it starts to gear up preparations for a year-long events programme to commemorate our links to the Mayflower voyage.

In 2020 it will be 400 years since the ship set sail with the Pilgrims to find land in America and one of the people on board is believed to have been born and lived in Chorley.

Myles Standish, who is linked to the Duxbury estate with further ties to borough villages such as Croston and Mawdesley.

Cllr Peter Wilson, deputy leader of Chorley Council, said: “We are very proud of our heritage and this gives us a chance to remember one of Chorley’s important figures from the past as well as drive more visitors to the borough to boost our economy. The Mayflower 400 celebrations are of national and international significance so it’s important we make the most of this opportunity and help put Chorley on the map. It’s expected we’ll see an influx of tourists from America in 2020 to this country and we want to make sure we get as many as we can to come and visit Chorley.”

The Mayflower story is a key point in America’s history and came about due to feud over religious beliefs that left the Pilgrims wanting to found a new colony in another part of the world.

Myles Standish was a resourceful and brave military adviser who accompanied the Pilgrims to America and helped them set up new colonies.

Although the link to Chorley cannot be definitely confirmed all the evidence points to strong links to the borough and in particular the Duxbury estate.

“We are really grateful for the support of the committee of volunteers who have helped get this project off the ground and we look forward to developing an exciting events programme for 2020,” added Cllr Wilson.

“We will be supporting the project as it ties in with our plans to increase the tourism offer for the borough." which in turn will generate more visitors and support local businesses.

“We’ll have some more exciting announcements in the coming weeks with trails and exhibitions already being developed.”