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Royal visit 'could boost Blackburn and Darwen'
9:52am Wednesday 13th April 2011 in Royal Wedding news
Blackburn and Darwen could benefit from a tourism boost on the back of this week's royal visit.
Darwen town councillor Roy Davies said he hoped the immediate tourism impact would then be followed by longer term investment by visitors.
He said increased visitors could see empty shops in the town centre reopen and those tourists may want to buy properties in the town.
And council bosses have vowed to ensure Witton Park visitors will have a ‘really great experience’ as they anticipate an increase in numbers.
On Monday Prince William and Kate visited Darwen Aldridge Community Academy to officially unveil the school which opened in the new building off Redearth Road in September.
They then went to Witton Park to meet young people in the area after signing a register to protect the fields as part of the Queen Elizabeth II Fields scheme to mark her Diamond jubilee next year.
Coun Davies, who has a son at Darwen Academy, said: “The visit was fantastic to see such a small town on the map, I would like to know who arranged it. Whoever did it needs a pat on the back.
“There will have a lot of immediate impact, people will want to see where Prince William and Kate visited.
“But we want people to come and if we can get them to stop and spend money in the town it could help more shops open.
“It might encourage people to move into the area.”
On the back of Prince William and Kate’s last official engagement before their wedding on April 29, Blackburn with Darwen Council believe Witton Park will become even more popular.
Sayyed Osman, director of environment, neighbourhoods and housing, said: “Witton Country Park is already a very popular regional attraction with hundreds of people coming every week.
“There are numerous events held at the park as well as fantastic facilities and thousands of people enjoy the astro turf pitches, athletics track, children's play areas and surrounding countryside.
“We are delighted that it has now been put on the world's map following the royal visit and expect visitor numbers to continue to rise.”
Mayor of Darwen Paul Browne added: “Darwen Aldridge Community Academy is going to be the jewel in Darwen’s crown.
"It has put us on the world map and I think it has done nothing but good for the town.”
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