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 Pwllheli needs to integrate with the surrounding areas.

CymunedolTowns must find ways to spread the benefits of business improvement districts beyond their centres if they are to become a key tool for regeneration, campaigners have warned. With bi-weekly calls for new ideas for Pwllheli being made by many people and organisations, It seems as though a less focused individual approach should be shelved in order that a wider economic view may benefit all in the future.

Kate Braithwaite, director of the Carnegie Commission for Rural Community Development, said Bids were an example of how market towns should approach regeneration.

Speaking at Action for Market Towns’ annual convention on Friday, she urged delegates to break free from the shackles of government programmes. ‘Communities that build their own momentum attract the interest of potential funders, but if you are beholden to agencies to determine your future, you will experience only changing goalposts, retrospective funding and deep frustration.’

Mwy...More...

With the recent Marina fiasco still casting ripples in the harbour there is an even greater need for a less me, me, me approach and a more us, us, us stance. Recent examples with regard to the marina were- When marine industry players took the stance of trying to in effect 'blackmail' coleg meirion Dwyfor to take sides by using the students (their own lifeblood) as pawns, or when 'fair weather' companies threatened to leave the area for greener pastures.

These were only two examples of the negative consequences of selfish and greedy, blinkered navel gazzing by traders concerned with personal and very localized monetary gain.

The market town, by definition cannot be isolated from the surrounding area that both supports it and provides a basis for it's existence and future. The effects that Asda will have, will be on the whole area and not just Pwllheli. Some Pwllheli traders will inevitably be sent reeling, and some to the canvas when this 'goliath' opens it's doors.

Some small traders and the staff who live in the surrounding communities will lose out. Other rural outlets in the area will again be put under more pressure. Will the efforts of another 'small' section of traders in the town founder on the rocks, as did the marine traders?

There are, however, a few positive movements afoot, with a buy local campaign in it's embryonic stages. Another is the shifting in opinion towards a more area-wide economic strategy for Pwllheli, not solely marina focused. The approach taken by Keswick a market town in the Lake district could also provide ideas if not a blueprint from another rural town with reliance in the leisure markets.

Businesses in the town will now pay a levy to fund improvements to the Lake District town’s centre, improve its marketing and lobby for further investment over the next five years.

Chris Wade, chief executive of campaign group Action for Market Towns, described Keswick’s decision as ‘a great step forward’. But he said Bids needed to link with efforts to improve the wider area. ‘As Bid schemes are tried out in other market towns it needs to be in a way that complements other work and improvements in the wider town and surrounding villages, because Bids are very much concentrated on centres.’

One idea could be to match the administration and funds of a Bid and pool them into one wider town partnership, he said. ‘If it was treated as one package it would be a way to spread the benefits and spread the burden.’

Keswick will now appoint a 12-strong board of directors from the private sector with the aim of officially launching in April. I wonder what Pwllheli and Llyn will be be doing next April?



 
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Most read story about Cymunedol:
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