Trust Life: April – March 2012
Welcome back to life at the Trust and so here we are looking forward to Easter already. Can anyone explain the passage of time? Why is it that when you are at school (yes I know for me it was a long time ago!) a week seemed like an eternity? Not so now.
At the moment we are working with John Shutt, a Trust tenant and retired Professor of Employment and Regional Development, to create a visionary town master plan, which should take the town through to 2020. The Town Council have been involved in the process and we hope this will assist them in developing the Town Plan required to feed in to NCC’s Development framework. Apologies if that all sounds like heavy work, but it is what is now required by local government to ensure we remain at the forefront of regeneration.
There is a general consensus that we have to generate jobs ourselves by developing an entrepreneurial approach. Not always easy to find that wonderful idea that will make a million, but if you look around the town, we do have some pretty specialised enterprises.
There again the idea just has to be something that people want and will pay for, be it a skill, service or product. Because of our relatively rural location and poor transport links, Amble has always had a problem with attracting major industries – additional transportation adds to the product cost.
But there is a new digital age out there, where location doesn’t necessarily matter. Perhaps we can build on that and create a new digital Amble? Or perhaps we can build on our natural strengths. We have a fantastic natural environment and of course our claim to being the Friendliest Port. Not every holiday destination can say that.
How many times as you have travelled have you felt ‘short changed’ by poor customer service and wondered why you bothered spending your money!
Increasingly customers are raising their expectations, and little wonder. If they spend a penny it keeps someone in work, so yes we should be grateful and thank them in return with a smile. And that is the feedback we get from tourists: that Amble and its people are warm and friendly – shop keepers are happy to pass the time of day and get to know you. It makes a real difference.
I believe we have many strengths and attributes to build a new future upon. If you have ideas for the town, the Trust and the Town Council will be available at the Parish Plan meeting at Fourways2 on 23rd April (time to be confirmed).
I’m sure many of you will have watched with interest the Mary Portas programme which aims to make our town centres vibrant once again. The opportunity has presented itself to submit an application to secure a proportion of the £1m on offer to bring your plans to fruition. Working with the Business Club we are going to give it a try – nothing ventured nothing gained as they say. Obviously we have some issues to overcome, but I am pleased to report it is not the number of empty or charity shops we have. On that score I think we are faring pretty well.
The application has to be led by a local authority so hopefully the town council will be involved.
We held the first Coastal Market of the year at the beginning of March – not particularly successful because of the weather. But hopefully the sun will shine from now on.
Julia Aston Director, Amble Development Trust