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Thursday, 02 October 2014

Housing boom hopes for Wigton's economy

A business leader has hailed a potential housing boom as a major economic boost.

Jane Hollick photo
Jane Hollick

Plans have been submitted for more than 150 homes in Wigton – raising hopes of a knock-on effect for shops and schools in north Allerdale, with more people living and shopping in the area.

The latest application is for 82 homes on land off West Road.

Jane Hollick, member of Wigton Business Group, hopes the town’s growth can provide a boost.

She said: “More people is a good thing. We have found that people tend to live in Wigton but not shop here.

“But we have all kinds of ideas including a loyalty scheme – it’s a case of deciding what and when we are going to do them.

“It can only be good for Wigton.”

Ms Hollick added that having more diverse businesses in the town could help with attracting customers.

She hopes that the High Street can be reinvigorated during the day and particularly at night time, stopping as many people travelling to out of town for meals and nights out.

One of the business types that she hopes could give the town a shot in the arm is more sit-in restaurants.

Planning permission has been granted for a retail and restaurant project in the former Kildare Hotel building.

Ms Hollick added: “We were in Carlisle recently and the amount of people there from Wigton was quite remarkable. We have hopefully got a new bar and bistro opening where the Kildare was. Wigton needs more entertainment and more places to eat where people can have a nice meal with their friends.”

The majority of the houses in the proposed 82-home development are thought to be four-bedroomed homes.

The number of planning permission requests has risen in Allerdale to address a “historic undersupply”.

Len Baseley, Wigton resident and Pride in Wigton chairman, is also hopeful that the rise in homes could benefit the town.

He said: “My own personal thoughts are that it must be good for Wigton.

“I am sure that more people must create more footfall in the High Street, and that must be good for business in general.”

Representatives from the Pride in Wigton group also attended a meeting to discuss how to spend £10,000 of Government funding following the town’s bid for Portas Pilot cash.

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