Published February 18, 2020 at 13:24
Over the last few years, the Council with its partners have worked really hard to improve our town centres. This work has paid dividends especially in Rawtenstall.
In Rawtenstall, a lot has been delivered and it is clear there is a lot of positivity around the town.
Residents, visitors and businesses have fed back how good the town centre is looking, how the night time economy is booming and how great it is there is an influx of quality food and drink retailers.
The new bus station has also been well received as has the repurposed town hall. Heritage is really important to Rawtenstall folk so integrating a much loved building into a vibrant town centre has been welcomed.
Businesses have shown confidence in Rawtenstall and putting investment in the town such as New Hall Hay.
Given the positive direction the town is moving towards, the Council believes that a massive intervention such as Spinning Point Phase 2 no longer meets the future needs of the town.
At the next full council meeting, councillors are set to agree to discontinue with work on the next stage and instead look at ways of building on Rawtenstall success by addressing issues such as car parking, a better public realm on the town square and advancing an improvement scheme for the gyratory.
Councillor Alyson Barnes, leader of the Council, said:
“Rawtenstall is a real success story especially considering where we were a few years ago with a dilapidated shopping town dominating the town centre.
“This Council with its partners have delivered a lot. I am incredibly proud of what we have achieved. We have replaced the Valley Centre eyesore. We have delivered a refurbished town hall which has provided jobs, a new bus station replacing the old bus stand which had always intended to be temporary and attracted investors and businesses to come into the town.
“We have achieved all this despite the tough financial challenges over the last ten years and the changing nature of the high street. We have bucked the trend in Rawtenstall. It’s a town on the up.
“The question then arises if the town is doing so well, with shoppers and visitors enjoying what is to offer and residents and businesses proud of the town centre, would a huge development such as Spinning Point phase town help or hinder that progress?”
“Talking to and listening to residents and businesses and looking at the national trend for town centres, the conclusion we as an administration have reached is that Rawtenstall doesn’t need such a development. Of course, the town centre still has challenges and we are always on the lookout for new funding to enable us to address those issues but we want to maintain the vibrancy which has been achieved over the last few years.
We want to grow what we have already got rather than deliver a big project which may not be as beneficial as it may appear to be and could hamper the growing buzz in the town.
“I believe this will be a popular decision which will be supported by lots of people. No doubt we will get some flack but it wouldn’t be right to continue with proposals we no longer believe in.”
The Council will meet on Wednesday, February 26 to discuss the recommendations and approve to formally discontinue the project.