Amble scoops cash for town promotion
Amble has been awarded £10,000 to help stage two festivals and promote the town’s independent businesses.
Despite the town having failed in its bid earlier in the year to become a Mary Portas Pilot Town, the Department for Communities and Local Government offered unsuccessful applicant towns the opportunity to become Town Team Partners and with it, a support package including £10,000.
With the endorsement of Sir Alan Beith MP, Amble Development Trust and Amble Business Club put forward a plan to stage two festivals to encourage tourism, including a Puffin Festival to be held next year, and to launch a campaign to encourage residents to shop locally.
The ‘Try Amble 1st’ campaign will be developed to help promote Amble’s independent traders, many of whom feel they can offer the same goods, better service and often cheaper prices than businesses further away.
In a letter to the successful Town Team Partners, Mark Prisk MP Minister for Housing said:
“Each Town Team Partner will be able to access the support package the Association of Town Centre Management has prepared for Town Team Partners. The support package aims to promote shared learning and best practice with the help of retail experts and other town teams from across the country. In addition each Town Team Partner will be receiving £10,000 to help towards putting some of their plans into action.”
The award has been welcomed by Amble businesses. “We’ll be consulting with local businesses for ideas to encourage local people to spend money in Amble first, before going out of the area,” said Colin Harris, Chairman of Amble Business Club. “It’s not just about retail, we want people to use local service providers, tradesmen and professional services as well.”
Sir Alan Beith MP told The Ambler: “Amble is a great place to live and visit and I am delighted that people in the community have been able to come up with plans to help give a boost to the local economy, by encouraging small businesses to work together and by bringing more visitors to the town.
“I am delighted that the Government has seen the potential of these projects and is willing to get behind them and I look forward to seeing Amble put these exciting plans into action over the coming months. The ‘Try Amble 1st’ campaign sends a very positive message to the community about the strengths this small town has and I hope it will be a real boost to local businesses.”
Puffin Festival gets go ahead
The news also means that plans to stage a Puffin Festival in the town can now go ahead with confidence. “I’m thrilled the Puffin Festival can go ahead,” said Amble Action Group member Ann Burke. “So many people are so enthusiastic about it already, so many organisations want to take part. It’s going to be a great community event.”
The festival will include exhibitions from local community groups, children’s events, live music and watersports. It will take place over a two week period from 18 May to 1 June, which will co-incide with the best time to see the puffins and pufflings on Coquet Island.
“We hope this will encourage tourism; Amble is unique in having an island so close where the puffins breed” said Ann. “It will be an excellent opportunity to see the puffins and pufflings and we want to celebrate that.”
Director of Amble Development Trust Julia Aston said “The Trust is really pleased that we’ve managed to secure some funding to assist with the ongoing regeneration of the town. We can’t carry out all the projects we submitted in our second round application, but the money will allow us to prosecute two elements that we hope will increase footfall and spending within the town and therefore assist local businesses.”