OPINION: I've been overwhelmed by the response to our Copeland Pride of Place scheme

4 August 2017 11:58AM

I’VE been overwhelmed by the response we’ve had from the Millom business community to our Copeland Pride of Place scheme.

We launched the transformational town centre regeneration project with high hopes last week, and I’m delighted to report that more than a third of the enquiries we had in the first week came from Millom.

I believe this project – in which we’re putting in £500,000 that will attract the same amount from the private sector – will provide a wonderful boost for Millom and the borough’s other three towns.

It will have a profound impact on the business community and the appearance of our high streets, and there’s a pot of cash available for villages too.

We’ve already started handing out grants of up to £5,000 for firms to have new windows, doors, signage or a fresh coat of paint. So I’d urge any business that hasn’t already done so to call 01946 598433 and make an application.

I get to Millom as often as I can and I’m always taken aback by the sense of community spirit there; there’s a real determination to get things done.

So I was delighted to have held my launch event for the Pride of Place scheme in Millom Network Centre late last month.

This venue is a fantastic asset to the community. It’s a real hub for a host of organisations to work together, and credit goes to Paul and the team there for its continued success.

And speaking of launches, Copeland Borough Council kicks off another round of The Big Switch on Tuesday.

It’s a free scheme that can save residents money on their gas and electric bills. This is the third time we’ve run the scheme, and the previous two have saved people hundreds of pounds from their bills.

If you sign up, you’ll be sent a personal offer in October of how much you could save on your bills, and then it’s up to you whether you want to make a switch. There’s absolutely no obligation.

I’d encourage everyone to consider signing up (from Tuesday) at www.copeland.gov.uk/section/copeland-big-switch.

I can’t finish this column without sparing a thought for the tragedy that has touched the Millom community with the deaths of Skye Mitchell and Caitlin Huddlestone.

To lose two young ladies in such tragic circumstances is truly heartbreaking. My thoughts are with their friends and families, and my best wishes go to those who were injured in this dreadful accident.

I’d encourage all readers to sign up to Copeland Council’s free monthly newsletter email, Copeland Matters, delivered straight into their inbox. Subscribe at www.copeland.gov.uk/subscribe-cem

Mike Starkie, elected mayor of Copeland Borough Council

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