A NEWLY-created high street for Nelson could prove to be the road to riches for the town, civic leaders hope.

Almost 1,000 people turned out to mark the reopening of the Manchester Road to Leeds Road connection to traffic on Saturday - and the launch of the centrepiece Shuttle sculpture.

An arts car parade, featuring a wooden Rolls Royce, a musical milk float and a cremulator - a cross between a hearse and digger - helped restore the feelgood factor to the town centre.

And the Mayor of Pendle, Coun Nadeem Ahmed, has called upon residents and traders to ensure the revamp, including a stone amphitheatre and tree-lined boulevard, is a catalyst for further regeneration.

Coun Ahmed said: “With this fantastic new high street and the launch of the Shuttle we need to stop dwelling on the negative and need to talk about the present and the future of Nelson.”

Only one business, the bookmaker William Hill, remains in the Victory Centre, and on Friday bailiffs repossessed the Arcade Cafe.

But Nelson Bazaar opened in the former Poundstretcher store in May and the ACE Centre and Number One Market Street complex are continuing to attract big names and business to the borough.

Former Lancashire Telegraph reporter and BBC Radio Lancashire presenter Tony Livesey was on hand to launch the Shuttle.

Tony and the mayor each kissed the Shuttle in what could become a new tradition.

This is said to mirror what weavers had to do when threading shuttles for the loom, in order to draw the cotton through the shuttle.

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