Labour Action Team and local shopkeepers put together bid to mak

Patrick McKinley, Lynn Gatherer, Gwen Kermode and Maurice Byrne with the Maghull shopkeepers

Maghull Labour Action Team is working with local shopkeepers in a bid to become one of 12 Portas Pilot areas in the UK.


Just last month, the Maghull Labour Action Team joined forces with shopkeepers in Central Square and Westway to launch the Support Our Shops campaign.


The campaign is already looking into changing the name of the square to Frank Hornby Square or Hornby Square in order to cash in on the name of the town's most famous son and model railway and Meccano entrepreneur.


Now the campaign team is working on bidding for a share of a £1million pot of cash as part of the Portas Pilot scheme.


Shopping guru Mary Portas has launched the scheme after conducting a review of shopping last year. As part of a TV show, the retail expert made several recommendations.


She hopes the pot of funding will enable shopping areas, like Maghull Central Square, to capitalise on the initiative to make improvements to attract more shoppers.


Maghull Labour Action Team leader and local mum Lynn Gatherer is compiling the bid.


Lynn said: "We have had a number of meetings now to discuss ideas that we would like to put in the Portas bid and I am really excited about the potential we have for our town centre.


"The shopkeepers themselves have some fantastic ideas on how to make Central Square shopping centre and Westway the hub of the town once again.


"These include introducing a market, placing artwork in the empty shops, cleaning up the subway, utilising the walkway on Westway, introducing florists' stalls in the square, utilising local farms and turning the vacant Ethel Austin shop into an indoor charity market.


"These, together with ideas already floated by Maghull Town Council's Labour Councillor Maurice Byrne to bring back a civic day to Maghull, as well as the idea to market the town more on Frank Hornby's name, then the prospects for the shopping centre are very positive.


"We are all now working together to put the bid together ahead of the deadline at the end of this month."


Sudell Ward Labour Councillor Patrick McKinley said he was very positive about Maghull's chances of being successful in the bid.


Cllr McKinley said: "We have lots of creativity here in Maghull, and that has been evident from the numerous meetings we have had with the shopkeepers and businesses.


"We are all working together for the same aim of getting the best out of our shopping centre for the benefit of the businesses and the town as a whole.


"Whether we are successful or not in this bid, we will be continuing to push ahead to make improvements in the shopping centre that are needed.


"Central Square is the heart of Maghull. If we can improve the health of the square, the whole town will benefit."

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