Barrow traders’ three-point plan to lift town ‘atmosphere’
Last updated at 17:09, Wednesday, 11 July 2012
TRADERS hope to take advantage of a scheme created by a celebrity shopping guru.
Barrow is one of hundreds towns bidding for a slice of the government-backed Mary Portas fund to boost town centres.
Barrow Traders’ Association has launched a bid with the support of Barrow Borough Council for the second phase of the initiative.
Association chairman Stuart Groundwater said the bid is based on creating “an atmosphere” in the town.
The three main ideas for boosting atmosphere are introducing a mobile stage in the town, adding new market stalls and creating a website for traders.
A video has been prepared with help from Furness College students to back the bid.
Mr Groundwater said: “We want the stage to be a platform for people to show their talents within the town, while creating an atmosphere.
“The Victorian-style stalls are aimed at giving young entrepreneurs a pitch in the town to sell and to encourage quality market sellers into the town to give the town centre different types of shopping.
“The website would be a place where shoppers can find us and find out what is going on in the town.”
Some 370 applications for support were made in the first round, but only 12 towns were selected to receive a share of £1.2m.
In the second round, Barrow will go up against other towns, including Dalton and Ulverston, but Mr Groundwater said the group is hopeful of success.
He said: “When you look at the towns which have won, I don’t think it is about the economic demography.
“I think it is about having different ideas which can be used in town centres throughout the country in the future.
“Hopefully, by bringing the atmosphere back into the town centre we can make it not just a place where people come to shop but where they come to enjoy the atmosphere, relax and meet friends.”
Association member Mike Arnold, owner of Fitzsimmons’ newsagents in Cavendish Street, said the scheme would boost the town in the long term.
He said: “What we are trying to do is not just put on a sticking plaster, but look for a way forward rather than just riding out the recession.
“There are shops closing and you can’t just ride it out if there is tumbleweed rolling down the street.
“We are looking to do something positive and it is an opportunity for us all to work together.”
To view the traders’ video, visit nwemail.co.uk.
First published at 16:20, Wednesday, 11 July 2012
Published by http://www.nwemail.co.uk
Have your say
These sort of gimmicks aren't going to work. Barrow needs a proper shopping centre, preferably with some shops in it. I've lost count of the number of times I've gone to town for an item of clothing or footwear and come back empty handed, having to get something online instead. There is no atmosphere in the town centre because there are hardly any shops left, and it is utterly frustrating.
Come on Norman where do you think they get the money for the champagne openings of car parks.Do you realy expect the councillors to take note of a local rate payer.In your dreams mate.
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