The two hour meeting was attended by 6 MP’s looking for feedback on how Saltburn’s participation in the Agora pilot scheme run by Manchester Metropolitan University had progressed, and what lessons could be learnt by other small towns, both nationally and internationally.
Saltburn’s parliamentary representation came at the end of an 18 month successful pilot study to improve the local economy in Saltburn.
“Saltburn has created a strong partnership with businesses, community groups and important local stakeholders such as Cleveland Police and the Parish Council.” Says Diana “this has made our town very effective when addressing decisions that affect our future”.
The meeting involved presentations to the MP’s about the effectiveness of the pilot studies in the individual towns. The meeting gave an opportunity for the representatives from the pilot towns to express the real life concerns of high streets that need economic support to survive to MP’s formulating future strategies that will have a significant impact on our high streets.
“I asked the MP’s why the large Supermarket Chains were allowed to build such large stores on the outskirts of towns, killing off the independent retailer in the high street. In Saltburn this has been highlighted by retailers as a significant threat to business.”
In the light of recent government research into the severe decline of British coastal towns it is particularly important to see that improvements in the fortunes of seaside towns are possible.
Although the pilot study has come to an end, the Agora partnership is planning for a long and strong future to build on their success to date.