Show your support for Leyland

RALLYING CALL: South Rible Council's regeneration manager, Howard Booth, with proud Leylanders who are supporting the town
RALLYING CALL: South Rible Council's regeneration manager, Howard Booth, with proud Leylanders who are supporting the town
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Leyland could be in the running to have more major improvements, including a new town centre square and market stalls on the high street.

As the Guardian launches its Support Our Town campaign, an application is also being drawn up for Leyland to get a cash boost from celebrity shopping guru Mary Portas.

If successful, the town could get an expanded market and support for local businesses from the retail expert herself.

The ‘Queen of Shops’ is offering a £1m cash pot to 12 towns across the country, and a group of influential community members have joined forces in Leyland to apply to be part of the ‘Portas Pilot’.

Not all of the initiatives have been revealed yet, but business owners, South Ribble Council, shop managers and other community leaders have come up with a detailed application to give Leyland a chance of securing its share of the government’s £1m retail boost.

In the pipeline is an extended outdoor market with stalls on Hough Lane; a new central square and public space; and plans to hold more town centre events.

Coun Phil Smith, South Ribble Council’s cabinet member for regeneration, leisure and healthy communities, said: “We’ve already taken on board many of the recommendations in the Mary Portas’ High Street Review in Leyland.

“The outdoor market is growing and the indoor market is the only one in Lancashire with a 100 per cent occupancy rate.

“There has been over £250,000 of investment in the regeneration of Hough Lane, including the famous North Works gates at the market entrance and the bronze sculpture of a Leyland Motors worker.

“The survey also suggests more could be done to improve the appearance of the town centre, and this is one of the areas we will be looking to address.”

He added: “I know competition will be fierce but if our bid is successful, I believe we can secure some real and lasting improvements and create a real buzz around Leyland.”

Everyone in the community is being asked to support the bid, and you can show your support by clicking ‘like’ on the Visit Leyland Facebook page,

There is also a petition being launched and Leyland needs thousands of signatures to help support the bid.

Go along to the United Reformed Church on Hough Lane, on March 27 (Tuesday), between noon and 8pm to sign the petition, and to get more information about the application.

The Guardian is fully backing the campaign and wants to hear from you about what makes Leyland great.

The Support Our Town campaign will be featured in the paper regularly, with spotlight features on some of the town’s independent businesses and success stories.

- If you would like to get involved, call Kay Taylor on 01257 264911 or email