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Nelson shopkeepers respond to criticism
11:00am Sunday 25th August 2013 in News
AN outspoken attack on shopping in Nelson has provoked a spirited response from town centre shopkeepers and officials.
Bosses were furious after ‘Sim1846’ blasted Nelson on the Lancashire Telegraph letters’ page on Thursday, claiming it ‘needed to go back to the drawing board’ and pull down Pendle Rise and the multi-storey car park opposite.
Neighbouring Colne, which has seen the arrival of a number of independent shops, was held up as beacon for the borough.
But Eileen Ansar, who runs clothing store Slick, in Manchester Road, said the writer needed to rethink his ideas, in light of the major overhaul for the town centre.
Mrs Ansar said: “Nelson is a great place to shop. It is welcoming and has a wide variety of shops. We have got a lot going for us.
“There will be regeneration going on when the old Woolworth’s building is brought back into use and a lot of money has been spent on the Shuttle and reviving the high street.
“I’ve no doubt that Colne has a lot to offer, and we have a stall on Colne Market, but I know there are a lot of traders who disagree with what has been said here.”
Shopkeepers and council officials are also working closely as part of the Portas Town Team, using £100,000 of funding from the TV guru to trial new ideas and innovation to tempt customers back.
Recently, approval was also given to stage regular car boot sales in the former bus station, underneath the car park.
Coun Joe Cooney, borough council leader added: “It’s true that Colne is on the up. It goes to show what an important catalyst an attractive environment and a few new key shops and cafes can be in attracting more shops and investment into a town.
“We acknowledge that there is still a long way to go with Nelson but we have a fantastic Town Team, made up of local business representatives, members of the public and people from the town and borough councils, who are working hard trying to make the town a more appealing place. And over the last couple of years we have seen over 10 new businesses open.”
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