Revitalising our town centres - Giving local traders a voice in the future of our towns
Our town centres are at the heart of our communities, but over years there has been a steady decline in shops and amenities as more businesses move out of town or are unable to compete with the rise of online convenience. We want our towns to thrive and will work with traders and local authorities to rejuvenate our town centres.
My wife and I ran a small business in Workington, and know how tough the retail market can be. Our towns are the jewels in the community, and I will work hard to ensure that they sparkle for many years to come. The way we shop has changed and we must change to ensure our high streets thrive.
Ensuring that the £25 million MyTown Deal for Workington delivers transformational results for the town
- Boris Johnson has kept his commitment that this government will 'level-up' funding across the country, and has recently announced that Workington was identified for £25m of investment through the Stronger Towns Fund.
- I will work with local authorities, the community and business leaders to improve the retail and cultural offering, diversifying the night-time economy and increasing the quality and availability of town centre residential properties.
- I will work with stakeholders to deliver a new sports stadium for Workington, based on a sound financial model that is sustainable for the long term, while also delivering enhanced access to facilities for grassroots sports clubs across the constituency.
- I will work to deliver a transformational vision for the Lower Derwent Valley, improving transport links with the A66 and capitalising on the investment being made in new hotels, leisure and retail business.
Delivering the vision of Destination Maryport, improving shop frontages, rejuvenating the harbour and cementing the Renaissance of the town.
- I will work with stakeholders to see that Maryport makes the best possible use of recent multi-million pound government funding awards from the Heritage Action Zones and Future High Streets funds, thanks to Boris Johnson's commitment to 'level-up' funding across the country.
Supporting independent traders concerns about the increase in out of town development, ensuring the focus is on helping local businesses grow and prosper.
- I will work with traders to highlight opportunities for increasing the diversity of the retail offer in towns, reduce transport and traffic barriers and re-purpose unsuitable retail units into other uses.
- I will encourage Cumbria County Council and Allerdale Borough Council to increase electric vehicle charging points in the constituency and to increase free car parking access to make it easier for people to shop in town.
Encouraging new and exciting cultural events in the area, showcasing our local talent in the arts.
- I will support the continued growth of cultural events across the constituency to encourage visitors to our towns and will work with local groups to encourage new events in the area.
Supporting new start and small businesses through Cumbria LEP and Cumbria Growth Hub
- I understand the challenges of small businesses and will lobby Government to ensure that start up and small businesses can access funding and expertise through Cumbria LEP and Cumbria Growth Hub without unnecessary red tape.
- I will lobby Government to ensure that the Shared Prosperity Fund will fund businesses previously neglected due to EU State Aid rules, so that our agriculture, nuclear and tourism businesses can benefit from growth grant funding.