Hyndburn could be in line for a massive employment boost as the area is targeted for a controversial gas extraction process.
The borough is among key sites identified by a geological report as suitable for fracking to excavate shale gas from underground.
Fracking experts have said the new gas reserve estimates could create thousands of jobs and millions of pounds in revenues for local communities.
Hyndburn council leader Miles Parkinson said there were potentially huge economic benefits from fracking and current figures from the energy minister suggest Hyndburn could receive £100,000 per well and one per cent of any profits
He added: “There are community benefit agreements that could significantly benefit Hyndburn in terms of putting money into our communities and these agreements are drawn up between the county council and the firms looking to come into the area, with input from the borough council.” He said no decisions would be taken hastily and there would be consultation with residents.
Oswaldtwistle councillor and landowner Tony Dobson also welcomed the news, saying he was ‘very much in favour’ of fracking as long as it is shown to be as safe as possible.
He added: “We’re told there’s anything from 25 to 40 years worth of supply for energy and gas generation here.
“I recognise the economic value of it and job potential and energy security. With the amount of jobs it could bring locally - especially if they’re recruiting in Hyndburn - there’s a benefit to the local economy and a knock on effect from more employment which can only be good.”
Mike Damms, chief executive of the East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce based in Clayton-le-Moors, said fracking could provide huge benefits.
He said: “If we can get fracking in east Lancashire, which is one of the world’s great manufacturing areas, it could help us continue to compete with the rest of the world on a manufacturing basis.
"This is already done on a huge scale in some US states which shows it can be done safely. As long as its properly regulated this can stabilise Britain’s energy supplies for the next 10 to 20 years.”
The British Geological Society report found there could be 1,300 trillion cubic feet of gas beneath Lancashire and Yorkshire, double previous estimates.
County councillor Jennifer Mein, leader of Lancashire County Council, said there was already commercial interest in shale gas in east Lancashire which could create employment.
She said: “We are also aware that concerns have been raised about the impact on the environment.
“It is important that any commercial proposals put forward in future demonstrate the maximum benefit to communities across Lancashire while showing clearly how people's concerns have been addressed.”
Cuadrilla, which has carried our shale gas excavation elsewhere in the county, said the newly discovered reserves could create ‘thousands’ of jobs.
But some groups have already expressed safety concerns about fracking’s impact on the community.
David Daly, from Friends of the Earth Hyndburn, voiced concerns about methane gas leaking and radioactive material.
He said: “The authorities may say its been regulated but it hasn’t been so it’s unsafe in that way.”
And Green Party candidate Kerry Gormley, who runs the One Planet shop in Accrington, added: “This is an unregulated industry and the government is showing no signs of regulating it.”
Hyndburn MP Graham Jones said gas was an important part of the UK’s energy mix, but environmental and safety concerns had to be addressed with robust regulation and monitoring.