SEVEN new business have opened in Pendle since the town became one of 12 Mary Portas pilot towns in the summer.

Pendle Council set up a town team to attract new businesses and shoppers to the area following the announcement.

Becoming one of the Portas pilot towns meant a £100,000 funding boost to the town centre, and advice from the Queen of shops Mary Portas.

Coun Paul White, executive member for economic development, enterprise and growth, said: “Since the Portas Pilot work began in Nelson, seven new businesses have opened up in the town centre.

“We’ve been able to support these businesses with practical advice, as well as business start-up grants or premises improvement grants courtesy of Nelson Area Committee.

“There’s been lots of other successful activity too, including Nelson’s first art and vintage market and interest in empty shop units.

“All of this is helping to drive economic regeneration and breathe new life into the town, exactly what the Portas Pilot is all about.”

The new shops include an electronic cigarettes retailer, a chippy, a hairdressers, a cafe, a grocers and a shop selling winter shakes and hot drinks.

The council’s town team has been talking to businesses interested in temporarily using currently empty shops.

Discussions are currently ongoing between the council and legal representatives regarding a short term let on a Scotland Road property.