New ‘Truck Trail’ idea to mark town’s heritage

New Portas Pilot Plans: A Leyland truck
New Portas Pilot Plans: A Leyland truck

A special ‘Truck Trail’ celebrating Leyland’s vehicle heritage could be set up across the town.

Leyland’s Town Team is making a renewed bid to become a Portas Pilot town under a nationwide initiative to revitalise high streets across the country, and has added some new ideas to the application.

The government and shopping guru Mary Portas have launched a second round of the competition that will see 12 additional pilot towns announced by the end of July.

Each successful town will receive a cash boost to help their high streets flourish in the future, as well as support from Mary Portas.

The latest bid features many of the regeneration ideas in Leyland’s original application, such as expanding the outdoor market and staging more town centre events to attract visitors.

New proposals in the bid document for Leyland include:

- A Truck Trail featuring 25 models of Leyland buses and trucks as street furniture around the town, creating a fun trail and encouraging people to explore Leyland.

Each truck will have its own name and distinctive appearance, with schools, businesses and groups helping to design their own trucks.

- Specially-themed markets on different days, such as arts, food and charity markets, to help attract more visitors.

- Highlighting the availability of free parking spaces at car parks across Leyland.

Plans to create a new town square in Leyland have not been included in the revised Portas Pilot bid because the scheme is unlikely to be delivered within the competition’s 18-month time frame, although the council still wants to press ahead with this project.

Coun Phil Smith, the council’s cabinet member with responsibility for regeneration, leisure and healthy communities, said: “We were disappointed not to be one of the first 12 Portas Pilot towns, but we’ve used the second round of the competition as an opportunity to sharpen our bid even further.

“I’d like to thank the special town team for putting together another excellent bid, with some really innovative ideas that will build on the regeneration work already done across the town.

“If we succeed in becoming a Portas Pilot, I’m confident we can make a big difference to Leyland.”

A new video has been filmed to accompany the revamped application, and can be viewed by searching Leyland’s Portas Pilot (round 2) at www.youtube.com.