LETTER: There’s a lot to shout about in Colne

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I WRITE in response to the letter last week from Peter Hill about the human sundial planned for Colne town centre.

The sundial project is part of a larger environmental improvement scheme taking place over the next six months along Market Street and Dockray Street and is funded via Sainsbury’s Section 106 monies. Section 106 is paid by developers to local planning authorities to meet the costs of dealing with the external effects of development. Therefore, this scheme is not paid for by council taxpayers’ money.

In this case, the money is being used to help maintain the viability of Colne town centre. Other elements paid for through Sainsbury’s 106 monies include improvements to the toilets on Colne bus stations, improvements to Colne Arcade and investment into Colne in Bloom.

We are really quite excited about the design to improve the area outside the library and feel sure library members and Colne shoppers alike will agree once works are completed. The designs for outside Colne Library and Dockray Street are currently on display inside the library.

Pendle Council actively encourages new business start-up in Colne town centre through our Shop Front Improvement Grant Scheme, which this year has been funded through Sainsbury’s Section 106 monies and a Colne and District Committee budget.

In the last nine months alone, we have spent over £14,000 supporting six town centre businesses, three of which were new to Colne.

This, in turn, has meant those businesses have invested £20,000 in their Colne town centre business - and not a pub or takeaway among them!

We believe Colne has a fantastic range of good quality shops and this range is growing all the time. In fact, there are thankfully very few vacant properties.

Furthermore, a number of new and exciting stalls have opened in Colne’s market. We encourage Mr Hill to take a look.

Colne has a large amount of free, convenient car parks. Indeed, free car parking has recently increased as the Primary Care Trust has offered the old Kwik Save site as free long stay shoppers’ car parking.

The council believes there is a lot to shout about in Colne and we’re not the only ones. Colne has won the award for the best large town category in the prestigious North West in Bloom competition for three years running.

In 2010, Colne in Bloom was awarded the RHS gold medal in the best large town Catagory and chosen to represent the North West in the RHS 2011 Britain In Bloom competition, which will see the town compete for the top prize against other towns across the UK.

PETER ATKINSON

Engineering and Special Projects Manager,

Pendle Council