Former Coronation Street star Julie Hesmondhalgh will receive the title of Honorary Freeman of the Borough, the Borough’s highest honour tonight
And it will be a case of returning to her roots for Julie when she receives the honour in the Coppice Theatre at Accrington and Rossendale College, where Julie studied.
Born in Accrington on February 25, 1970 and educated at Moorhead High School as well as the college, Julie found nationwide fame as an actress in the long running Granada soap opera, Coronation Street, as much-loved character Hayley Cropper.
She moved away to London in the late 1980s to study music and drama, but she never forgot about her local roots and is a patron of Maundy Relief, supporting the charity with close links to the founder, the late Dorothy McGregor.
Coun Ken Moss, Hyndburn council’s cabinet member for leisure and arts, said “incredible” Julie deserved the honour.
He added: “Julie is a local lass who has never forgotten her roots and has done some incredible work locally supporting the Maundy Relief charity.
“When Julie left Coronation Street her portrayal of the death of her character Hayley Cropper received industry-wide recognition, resulting in her winning the ‘Best Actress Honour’ at the 2014 British Soap Awards and ‘Best Serial Drama Performance’ at the 2014 National Television Awards.
“The Freedom of the Borough is the highest honour we can bestow, and Julie Hesmondhalgh is most definitely a worthy recipient.
“She is a wonderful ambassador for this borough and we want to recognise her outstanding achievements at both local and national level.”