RIBBLE Valley council has invited Northern Powerhouse minister Jake Berry to Clitheroe as it works up a bid for government cash to redevelop its town centre.

Last week it scrapped controversial plans to replace its market.

The council's Policy and Finance Committee instead decided to bid for a share of the government's new £675million Future High Street Fund announced by Chancellor Philip Hammond in his Budget last year.

Now Ribble Valley Council’s new leader Stephen Atkinson has invited Rossendale and Darwen MP Jake Berry to visit Clitheroe so see for himself the challenges facing its high street,

He said: “The committee felt the new Future High Streets Fund was an excellent opportunity for the town centre as a whole.

"We decided that rather than continue with the development of Clitheroe Market in isolation the new fund provides an opportunity to consider wider improvements to the town centre, which will include the market.

“I have written to the Minister for the Northern Powerhouse and Local Growth, Jake Berry, inviting him to Clitheroe to see for himself."

Ribble Valley Borough Council will submit an expression of interest in the fund by March and, if selected, will submit a business case by early 2020.