Search for in­spi­ra­tion else­where

Rossendale Free Press - - The Rossendale Scribbler -

WHERE should Rawten­stall look for in­spi­ra­tion on what it wants to be?

Re­cently, Rossendale MP Jake Berry sug­gested War­ring­ton as a place to in­spire the coun­cil into mak­ing what are con­sid­ered to be ‘bet­ter’ plan­ning de­ci­sions.

It’s an in­ter­est­ing ex­am­ple, but I sus­pect War­ring­ton has more ‘in­wards in­vest­ment’ projects to choose from than Rossendale does. To start, it has the ben­e­fit of not one but three mo­tor­ways in its area - the M6 and M62 in­ter­change in War­ring­ton, and the M56 is also close by - and fast train ser­vices which run north to south and east to west.

Oth­ers point to places like Heb­den Bridge, Clitheroe or Rams­bot­tom.

I’d chuck Black­burn into the mix too.

It’s put the mar­ket more to the heart of the town cen­tre, and in­vested in the mar­ket too. It put a lot of fo­cus on what lo­cal plan­ners call ‘pub­lic realm’ and that’s made it a nicer place to spend time in.

Rawten­stall has a his­toric ad­van­tage here – Bank Street in par­tic­u­lar is al­ready very nice, and rel­a­tively small projects such as cob­bling the whole of the street would make a huge dif­fer­ence.

But what about Lon­gridge, the small town on the edge of the Rib­ble Val­ley, near Pre­ston? Not an ob­vi­ous place to seek in­spi­ra­tion but its cinema has just re-opened. The new own­ers have turned it into a place which is more than just a cinema, so you can pop in for a drink or food through­out the day, in the same way cin­e­mas in the Lake District do.

The range of films shown at the Palace cinema in Lon­gridge makes it stand out from reg­u­lar mul­ti­plexes a short drive away. If they are con­fi­dent of mak­ing it work in Lon­gridge, surely it’s an idea to ex­plore in Rawten­stall, a big­ger town with large com­mu­ni­ties around it too? That would be ex­cit­ing.

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