Alnwick retail chief hopes regeneration funding will be used to help extend visitor season
Regeneration funding earmarked for Alnwick should be used to revitalise the evening economy and extend the visitor season.
That is the hope of Lisa Aynsley, chairman of Alnwick Chamber of Trade, following news that the town could be in line for a £3million windfall.
It is one of seven towns across Northumberland identified as suitable for investment through the government’s £450million Borderlands Growth Deal.
"It’s a phenomenal opportunity and one we’re really excited about,” said Lisa. “I’ve never known something potentially as big as this coming along for Alnwick.”
Northumberland has been allocated £12million from the initiative’s £50million ‘Place Programme’, although this may be boosted further by county council funds.
Money could be used to bring vacant buildings back into use, support the retail sector, develop town centre housing above shops and putting on arts and cultural events.
"All the key stakeholders will be working together to come up with a plan on how that might be used in Alnwick,” explained Lisa.
"Personally, I would like to see some of the funding used to extend the tourism season further into the shoulder months and to develop the evening economy.
"I think we need a more functional area that could be used to provide cover in the winter months, perhaps through a refurbishment of the market place. That would help us to build the evening economy and create more of a holiday destination in the colder months.”
Lisa, who runs the Hotspur 1364 menswear shop on Fenkle Street, has called on any local traders or residents with ideas to get in touch with her.