With the transfer window firmly closed, Leyland’s newly assembled ‘Town Team’ has had its first squad session and is gearing up for the challenges ahead.
A volunteer group of local businesses, organisations and interested parties has been assembled to help drive the town to another level and come up with ideas to improve the local economy.
The idea of a ‘football squad’ concept is the brainchild of ‘coach’ Howerd Booth, community works manager at South Ribble Council.
He said: “We developed a town team initially to bid for the Marty Portas Pilot Scheme last year, the national initiative to regenerate high streets across the country.
“We didn’t succeed there, but we have an enthusiastic group of people who all have the interests of our town at heart and we have pledged to work together to improve Leyland. The ‘football’ theme is one way of instilling a team ethic into the group and everyone has bought into it.”
The first ‘training session’ for Leyland’s new town team was hosted by Coppers Tea Rooms on Golden Hill.
With an initial £10,000 fund to spend, the new team made a positive start on guiding improvements to the town centre.
A host of ideas discussed at the first meeting included advertising and promotion of the town, better events across the year, particularly Christmas, involvement in the Leyland Festival, local marketing campaigns, changes to car parking arrangements, brightening streets and exciting promotions.
Spokesman Keith Bradshaw said: “Howerd has assembled an impressive squad representing a wide range of interests across Leyland. We are all devoted to investing in the town’s future with a collective desire to make it a more attractive and prosperous place.”
At regular meetings, the Town Team will spearhead the campaign for Leyland and act as spokespeople for the town, but welcomes ideas, opinions and input from neighbouring businesses and community organisations.
Continuing the football analogy, the team has the backing of the board, which includes local leading business people, councillors and South Ribble MP Lorraine Fullbrook as team sponsor.
The Leyland My Neighbourhood Forum are the backroom staff and Leyland residents, visitors, shoppers, businesses and local clubs represent the supporters.
As well as council officers and Mr Bradshaw, the Town Team also includes:
- Pam Campbell from Coppers Tea Rooms
- Karen Swan from Peppermint Cottage
- Leyland Market manager Paula Halliwell
- Jemma Lloyd from Solicitor’s Direct
- Janet Grindrod from Poppy’s Flower Designs
- Mark Croasdale from Haines Watts Chartered Accountants (Pictured)
- Isobel Pickering from Paces and Laces
- David Coaker from the United Reformed Church
- Stephen Bullock from the British Commercial Vehicle Museum