AN ASPIRING social enterprise has pledged to put Rossendale ‘on the map’ by working with the Valley’s top businesses and tourist attractions.
I Love Rossendale, based in Bank Street, is the brainchild of Rawtenstall couple Lisa Costello and Andrew Thomas.
The pair will work alongside established groups like Rawtenstall Town Team and Rossendale’s Heritage and Tourism Board with the aim of boosting visitor numbers to the borough.
Miss Costello, 36, said I Love Rossendale had spent the last 12 months building up contacts and was encouraged by what she saw.
She said: “We are getting more widely known throughout the area and I think most people in the community are aware of our name by now.
“We’re a not-for-profit organisation and we’ve been working with companies on marketing and offering discounted advertising rates.
“We’re also rolling out an awards scheme to indicate which businesses we think stand out in Rawtenstall. It is just Rawtenstall at the moment because that’s where we’re based but we’d be more than welcome to work with anyone.”
Miss Costello, originally from Salford, and Mr Thomas, originally from Middleton, said they wanted to combat the drop in footfall on Bank Street caused by road closures connected to the sewerage works.
She said: “We want people to come from outside Rossendale and stay here. We’re not originally from here but we’re impressed by what we’ve seen and by working together hopefully we can make a difference.”
Rossendale Council leader, Labour’s Alyson Barnes, welcomed the emergence of the organisation.
She said: “I would absolutely welcome it but I would also urge it to work with the existing great groups we have here.
“It’s always nice to see people appreciate the wonderful place that we live in. I had a chat with traders in Bank Street recently and was surprised and encouraged by how many people from outside the area come to work here.”
Jake Berry, Rossendale MP, said: “I think it’s really fantastic that businesses are grouping together to support each other. There are so many fantastic businesses in the Valley and I think it’s just a matter of having one place to find out.”