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Rory Stewart MP for Penrith and the Border has endorsed and submitted proposals by Eden District Council to put forward Penrith, Alston and a joint application by Appleby and Kirkby Stephen, as Town Team Partners, part of a new initiative launched by the Government called ‘Our Town First’.
If successful in its application, the local authority will benefit from £10 000 of funding as well as support from the Association of Town Centre Management, which would work with the towns to implement their application proposals. Each authority has put forward a different emphasis on how they would spend the funds: Penrith is looking to “energise” its outdoor market and help its young entrepreneurs with the “Have A Go” initiative, Appleby and Kirby Stephen want to use the grant to better promote their area as an attractive place to visit through publicity and advertising; whilst Alston wishes to develop a "Welcome" scheme, capitalising on the many tourists who visit Alston.
He said: “In the current economic climate we must jump at any opportunity that offers additional funding for our local towns. Without a doubt, £10,000 will go a long way within small communities to provide for local development projects, and we must be doing all we can to ensure we are successful in these applications. Each local authority has come up with a sensible and well thought-through pitch and I sincerely hope those judging will recognise the impact that such funds could have on these local communities when making their decision. As ever, Eden has come up with imaginative ideas, and continue to prove that local knows best."