£10,000 bid to boost shopping in Burnley and Padiham

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TRADERS could be set for a £10,000 boost in Burnley and Padiham, following failed Portas Pilot cash bids.

The towns missed out on a £100,000 cash pot under the Government scheme, led by the TV shopping guru Mary Portas.

But now five-figure funding has been freed up for 392 towns, including Burnley and Padiham, aimed at boosting high streets.

Plans are already being put together by Standish Street Traders to invest the cash in attracting new businesses, improve signs and enhance the environment on the street.

Brian Hobbs, president of Burnley Chamber of Trade, welcomed the cash.

He said: “It is not a sum of money that will stop the world, but it is money we can use to get a few projects going.

“There is a real mix of things we are looking at – work on the environment, work on signage, and work to encourage new business into the area.

“There are so many good ideas in Burnley, which often get stifled because of the length of time, whereas small but effective ideas we can give them legs and get them up and running.”

Padiham’s main street also looks set to benefit from £10,000, to add to the £100,000 funding agreement with Tesco ahead of a new store opening in October.

New town centre manager Anthony Fitzgerald vowed to plough the money into bringing businesses and shoppers back into Padiham.

He said: “We will move forward with this extra £10,000 and look at innovation to develop the town, incentives for businesses to set up and finding landlords who can work with prospective tennants.”

Gordon Birtwistle, MP for Burnley and Padiham, has offered his support to the scheme to secure the cash,

He said: “They cannot do a great deal with £10,000 but it will be used to improve the areas. They have come up with great ideas to attract more people in.

“In the current economic climate, any help is good news. It is a boost to Burnley and Padiham, and if spent wisely it will help.”