Princess Anne hands over national award to Nelson town centre

Nelson Centre win - Peter Atkinson and Princess Anne. (S)
Nelson Centre win - Peter Atkinson and Princess Anne. (S)

NELSON is celebrating the success of its new two top national awards - one of which was presented by Princess Anne!

The stone-based work which recreated the heart of town and brought traffic back through had already been given a 2012 National Stone Sustainability Awards landscape title in April.

Executive Director for Regeneration Brian Cookson presents Carl Johnson and Debbie Taylor from the Engineering and Special Project Department with the CIHT award for Nelson High Street watched by Regeneration Project Manager Dorothy Morris and council leader Joe Cooney.

Executive Director for Regeneration Brian Cookson presents Carl Johnson and Debbie Taylor from the Engineering and Special Project Department with the CIHT award for Nelson High Street watched by Regeneration Project Manager Dorothy Morris and council leader Joe Cooney.

The town centre had been named one of Mary Portas’s national Portas Pilot project, too, providing £100,000 funding to come up with new ideas to boost the shopping centre.

But Nelson centre has won two more national awards. It has scooped the top award in the Highways Category of the 2012 Street Design Awards. And it has come top in the Mouchel Streets Category at the 7th Annual Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation Awards.

This week, Pendle Council’s engineering and special projects manager Mr Peter Atkinson went down to London to collect the CIHT award and was given it by Princess Anne. He said: “It was a great evening It was a real surprise when they announced we had won it at the presentation.”

Council leader Coun. Joe Cooney is delighted, too. He said: “These awards prove that we are on the right track to transforming and regenerating Nelson Town Centre.”

Coun. David Whipp, who is responsible for Pendle Council’s engineering team, added: “It’s great that the quality scheme carried out in Nelson has been recognised nationally. The council’s design team did a good job working with local craftsmen, using mainly local natural materials to create a pleasing thoroughfare for people on foot and in cars. The result is a much livelier space than previously.”

And Mr Brian Cookson, the council’s executive director (regeneration), said: “To win three awards in such close succession is a real thrill and I’d like to congratulate everyone involved. The challenge now is to breathe life back into the town.

“Our first step will be to tackle the number of empty shops and involve more young people in their town centre, through our work with Mary Portas. It’s a challenge, but we have a team of people who are passionate about Nelson Town Centre and committed to creating a positive future for the town.”

Coun. Nadeem Younis, chairman of the council’s Nelson Committee, added: “I’m delighted to hear the town is award-winning again! After the substantial investments of recent years, Nelson Town Centre is now a much more pleasant place to shop and to visit. The town is now well-placed to take advantage of all the new initiatives and I urge people to shop locally and support our retailers.”