A town centre masterplan says public sector investment is needed in a shopping centre branded 'unattractive, dated, and inward facing,.

The council document says Nelson's Pendle Rise 'presents a poor image of the town'.

The draft blueprint to revive the town will be considered by Pendle Borough's Policy and Resources Committee on Thursday night.

It will be a key element in a bid for up to £25million for Nelson under the government's Town Deal Fund.

The draft masterplan says upgrading Pendle Rise, which after seven years in limbo was taken over in August 2017 by a new company which was liquidated in January 2019, is the key to reviving the town centre.

The document says: "As the principal retail, service and administrative centre for Pendle, the ability to change perceptions and create an exciting new future for Nelson, requires the transformation of the town centre.

"Few people from outside of Nelson would currently consider visiting Nelson.

"We need to improve people’s perceptions of Nelson.

"This will include promoting its wider offer such as the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, Pendle Hill and the areas countryside, local nature reserves and woodlands.

"Given its strategic location, with the right offer and better marketing there is scope to attract people from Lancashire and Yorkshire.

"Pendle Rise is an unattractive, dated, inward facing centre.

"It presents a poor image of the town, deterring visitors from stopping to explore what the town has to offer and dividing already low footfall between those shoppers inside the centre and those on the 'high street'.

"Even before the Covid-19 pandemic, the centre suffered from high vacancy rates (circa 40 per cent) and did not meet the needs of modern occupiers.

"Without public sector investment, Pendle Rise, will continue to decline, providing a poor quality offer to the town, impacting on retailer and shopper perceptions and experience, leading to further reductions in footfall, occupancy and revenue across the town.

"Without investment, Nelson town centre faces the risk that workers, residents, visitors and students from Nelson will choose to shop


"Our vision for Nelson cannot be realised whilst the shopping centre continues to decline.

"Aligned to the need to transform Pendle Rise, is the need to diversify the town centre offer.

"Nelson Town Centre needs to transition to provide a wider range of shops, opportunities and services which will attract more and a wider range of users."