Mayor issues pledge to attract new business to Oswestry
The mayor of Oswestry has issued a pledge to attract new businesses and more jobs to the area in the new year.
Councillor Chris Schofield said despite a tough few months there were signs of economic recovery and said making the town prosperous would be a priority for 2014.
He said Oswestry Town Council had attempted to do what it could to boost business in recent months, including investing in markets and offering free parking.
Projects aimed at boosting the town's economy include the ongoing Oswestry Gateway development, which includes a KFC and Starbucks at Mile End, and the plan to restore the stretch of the Cambrian Heritage Railway between Oswestry and the main line at Gobowen.
Yesterday it was revealed the first phase of the £45 million redevelopment of the town's livestock market on the Smithfield site would start in the new year.
Councillor Schofield said: "Bringing new business and jobs to the town remain firmly at the forefront of our discussions.
"We have just completed the Oswestry 2020 plan that places large priorities on where investment should be targeted as part of shaping the town vision for the next few years. Many people shared in the consultation and discussions and as a result we now have a plan that Oswestry Town Council and Shropshire Council can use as a strong community mandate."
Councillor Schofield added that one thing in the town's favour was the strong community spirit among its people, which he said had been evident at a number of events and functions he had been invited to during his term as mayor so far. He said: "I have seen first-hand the wonderful work that goes on, often without acclaim or publicity, that helps improve the quality of life or brings company to those experiencing difficulties. We are very fortunate to live in a community where so many not only care, but give of their time and money to help those less fortunate."
"The community spirit is very much alive and active in Oswestry. We enjoyed a meeting recently at the Guildhall when various groups presented their current projects and ideas that are under discussion.
"There is a real interest and passion about this town and bringing people together to share ideas and to network was an evening well spent."
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