‘Queen of Shops’ to visit Nelson today

VISIT: Mary Portas
VISIT: Mary Portas

TV’s Queen of Shops Mary Portas will be making her first visit to Nelson today after awarding the town a big boost to sort its town centre.

Coun. Paul White, who leads on regeneration with Pendle Council, said: “She’ll be hearing first hand how we’re taking action to breathe new life into Nelson, using the Portas funding we won last year.”

Nelson was the only town in East Lancashire to win £100,000 through their successful bid to revitalise the town. The bid involved imaginative ways of tackling empty properties and bringing more young people into the town.

“Mary will see for herself the huge investment we’ve made to improve the town centre,” said Paul. “This was the foundation for the successful bid, together with fantastic team work between shopkeepers, Nelson and Colne College, Pendle Council, Pendle Leisure Trust and other organisations.

“The radical transformation she’ll see includes the new tree-lined boulevard, the amazing shuttle and attractive amphitheatre for events,” he added.

The Queen of Shops will be taking a tour of the town with leading members of the Town Team. She’ll also have a round table meeting with them to discuss new plans and ideas for Nelson and she’ll be sharing her expertise.

Mary Portas said: “We must focus efforts on creating lively and social places, especially for young people, to breathe new life into Nelson. This is Nelson’s big chance.

“It’s about creating a place that people want to feel part of – a sense of community so that people feel proud to say they are from Nelson”.

Nicholas Emery of Emery Electronics is part of the Town Team. He said: “We’re delighted she’s coming to Nelson. We have big plans and lots to talk about to make the most of the funding we’ve won.”

So far, the Town Team have used the funding for a highly successful Vintage Arts and Crafts Market which attracted over 3,000 people to the town last year. The Team plans to bring the market back in late spring.

And there will be more events and sporting activities in the town centre with help from the college and Pendle Leisure Trust in the summer.

Coun. Nadeem Younis who chairs the Nelson Committee, said:“Nelson is a town on the up! Getting help and advice from national TV celebrities like Mary Portas and Azhar Siddique from ‘The Apprentice’ make a difference.”