Padiham gets cash injection to continue retail boom

Cash notes 20s
Cash notes 20s
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Regeneration chiefs are set to pump £55,000 into Padiham to continue the renaissance of the town centre.

Burnley Council announced cash support for Padiham in the budget to boost efforts to breathe new life into the high street.

Council bosses were determined to find the money to fund a town centre manager for a further 12 months following the huge success of the scheme.

The two-year project, which was due to end in March, has brought more than 20 new businesses and hundreds of new customers flocking to the town.

But the cash means the town centre manager will be able to continue projects in the town including a £1m. heritage fund bid, art markets, a summer festival and a monthly farmers’ market.

Town centre manager Mr Tony Fitzgerald welcomed the news which will mean he can step up regeneration effort and take on a full-time role in Padiham until March 2015. He said: “It is great news. We have got a bit more money to take things forward. It now gives us another 12 months to achieve even more success.

“Once you start opening shops, you create more jobs and more economic activity in the area. The success of Padiham is good for the whole borough.

“It is becoming a strong priority for the council and it is pleasing to see this formally recognised in finding more money to back us.”

The scheme has sparked a massive transformation in Padiham’s fortunes with the introduction of the Town Team initiative and shop vacancy rates cut by 50%, bucking national trends.

Mr Fitzgerald said: “It has come further than anyone ever thought – it has got businesses working together and the belief we can turn things around. Now even skeptics can see the town is going forwards.”

Colin Hill, of Burnley Council, said: “It’s really good news the Padiham town centre management role has been continued, enabling the excellent work already carried out over the last two years to be built upon over the next 12 months. It enables the town centre manger to work closely with Padiham Town Team to further promote Padiham.”