Portas Pilot gathers momentum in Nelson

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Improvements to Nelson Town Centre are gathering momentum after the town received a share of £1.2m from the Government’s High Street Innovation Fund to help revitalise its high street.

It follows the announcement last year that Nelson was to become one of 12 UK Portas Pilot towns.

Since then, work has been going on in the background to tackle the number of empty shops and market stalls in the town and attract young people into the town centre.

Sally Burrell, Store Manager at Boots in Nelson and chairman of Nelson Town Team, said: “It’s our priority to make Nelson a vibrant and bustling place once again. All sorts of fantastic initiatives are underway that not everyone knows about.”

These are:

l The twice-yearly Art and Vintage Market, which has just completed an incredibly successful fourth turn.

l The annual Love Your Local Market event, offering a free stand for a day for upcoming market traders.

l The Ladder of Accommodation initiative, where empty shops are used as “pop-up shops” and “test-beds” – short-term lets of varying lengths to allow budding entrepreneurs to test out their business idea in the town.

l Artist commissions to attract young people to the town centre.

l The possibility of Nelson and Colne College linking with other agencies to run an information, advice and guidance centre in the town centre offering support to people not in employment, education or training skills, business start-up advice, welfare advice and volunteering opportunities.

l A new marketing strategy which looks to build upon the successful Friday market and existing retailers to attract new visitors to Nelson.

Coun. Paul White, Pendle Council’s Executive Member for Economic Development, Enterprise and Growth, said: “Positive changes are happening in Nelson.

“And that’s thanks to the incredible amount of passion from the Town Team and Pendle Council working together to make the town an appealing place again.

“I’m confident that we’ll keep seeing Nelson go from strength to strength in the coming months and years.”

Coun. Nadeem Younis, who chairs the Nelson Area Committee added: “Nelson is on the up and we’re working with the Town Team and Pendle Council to support as much as we can.”

For more information about the Portas Pilot project for Nelson, contact Hanna Latty, the Town Centres Officer on 661677 or johanna.latty@pendle.gov.uk. Latest Nelson Town Team news is on on Twitter – follow @Nelson_Portas or search for Nelson Portas Pilot on Facebook.