Hope for 'neglected' town
NEW measures are being drawn up to try to attract more shoppers and tourists into a 'neglected' town centre.
Newcastle Borough Council is looking to set up a town centre partnership for Kidsgrove to co-ordinate regeneration strategies.
Under the proposals, businesses, Kidsgrove Town Council and the borough council would work together to attract shoppers, tourists and investment to the town centre.
It is hoped that Kidsgrove's position on the Trent and Mersey Canal can be exploited to encourage more canal users into the town.
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Kidsgrove deputy mayor and borough councillor Kyle Robinson believes the partnership will be a positive step.
He said: "I feel that Kidsgrove has been neglected in recent years.
"A lot more money has been spent on Newcastle town centre than on Kidsgrove.
"Hopefully this partnership will see that Kidsgrove does get its fair share of funding in the future.
"I think it can make a difference if we get the town council, residents and businesses working together.
"It's always going to be more difficult for Kidsgrove to attract investment, so I think we need to be innovative and try to do things differently.
"The canal and the Harecastle Tunnel could be a great way of getting people to come to the town centre, but it has been a missed opportunity. Heritage is a really big positive for Kidsgrove."
Darren Dale, who runs Station Garage in Meadows Road, is interested in getting involved in the partnership.
The 46-year-old said: "If you want to rejuvenate Kidsgrove the best thing you can do is bring the market back. When we had the market the place used to be packed. People came from miles around.
"The council needs to make the town centre look better, with things like flower beds. Look at Alsager – it looks a lot better than Kidsgrove. If you make the place look better then people will come."
Cabinet members will discuss the proposals when they meet next week.
The authority is already in the process of setting up a town centre partnership for Newcastle, and £30,000 has been set aside for a town centre manager to be appointed. If the Kidsgrove partnership goes ahead, the town centre manager will be expected to oversee regeneration in both towns. Councillor Eddie Boden, cabinet member for regeneration, planning and town centres, said: "I'm not expecting everything to fall into place just because we've set up a partnership. "We're going to have to work very hard to turn around Kidsgrove. But it is something we mean to do."