DESPITE the odds, Barrow town centre is trying to take a major step forward by bringing in more crowd-pulling events and bidding for Government funding.

It remains to be seen precisely how much Barrow will receive from the Government, but let’s hope it gives a lift to those involved in the town centre.

It is the fault of consumer choice that town centres nationwide have now become punctuated with empty shops as business shifts online.

Many customers find online shopping, from the comfort of their own homes, far more convenient.

For businesses looking at the bottom line, it can also result in big savings, as they do not then always need to employ front-of-house staff, fork out for costly business rates or premises costs.

But there is no denying that this change in the nation’s shopping habits has left an unattractive gap in town centres everywhere.

A number of businesses on the high street continue to fight the good fight for those shoppers who prefer to browse and receive personal service before they buy. This should always be an option for people.

Our new Prime Minister clearly scents an upcoming General Election and has gone into over-drive with spending commitments.

The big issue that needs to be tackled next is making business rates less punitive for small traders.