TIMPSON chairman Sir John Timpson took part in a tour of Accrington this week to discuss the future of the town.

This comes as part of a bid by Amazing Accrington, a group made up of a cross section of business and public sector leaders, for a grant of £150,000 from Hyndburn Borough Council to redevelop the town centre.

As an expert in retail, Sir John regularly visits Timpson branches including those in Accrington and was on hand to discuss Amazing Accrington’s plans.

He said: "I've had a very enjoyable morning.

“There are lots of positives in Accrington, you have a lot of the right ingredients for success.

“If you make a bid happen for expert help, with an inspirational leader anything is possible.

"Some large parts of the town centre need to disappear, though!"

Amazing Accrington believes that funding from the council could be exactly what they need to turn the town centre into a UK success story.

The project to remake Accrington has become known as the Art of the Possible initiative and has already attracted cross-party support, including council leader Miles Parkinson MBE and Hyndburn MP Sara Britclife, which is likely to be boosted by Sir John’s backing

Sir John’s tour on Thursday included the Victorian Market Hall, the Arcade, Warner Street, the Timpson outlet in the Arndale and a trip on a new Amazing Accrington Pilkington Buses double decker bus to the Globe Centre for a meeting with the rest of the board.

The attendees discussed issues such as transport, parking, housing, empty shops, the future requirements of the high street and what this might look like in 20 years time.

Chair of the board Murray Dawson said "We're delighted Sir John was able to spare the time to give us his expert feedback from his high street fund work in support of our initiative and appreciate his positive comments about Accrington.

“We will press on with our request for funds and look forward to great things happening in Amazing Accrington."