Tedd Talks

Live Magazines’ Tedd Walmsley brings us up to date on Waddow Hall and urges the council to take action in order to fill the numerous empty shops in Clitheroe

Can I start by wishing everyone a very happy new year in the words of a song – ‘let’s hope it’s a good one without any tears.’ Thanks to all of you who’ve made contact, it’s clear that many of you share my concerns across the topics covered but you can’t please all of the people all of the time. Thanks also to those who didn’t agree with me for taking the time to offer a different point of view – that’s democracy!

Talking of which, have you picked up on the latest at RVBC? The seven Liberal Democrat councillors have had a bit of a disagreement and have split into two groups with the new Progressive Liberal councillors in cahoots with Labour. There are now more parties at the council than Boris Johnson allegedly had at Number 10 during Covid.

Whilst I’m sure the new configuration of councillors that make up the 40 members in total create robust debates, I can’t help but think that the likelihood of anything ever being agreed continues to diminish. This of course puts further spotlight on the wasted opportunities of the last 14 years when the Conservatives had full control. I consider that 2024 is going to be a year that strong leadership and cohesive strategy will be vital to help tackle the main issues in the Ribble Valley.

I was in Clitheroe recently and took the time to count 15 empty shops – I’m sure RVBC want to collect the business rates and not have shops lying fallow, so what then is the economic strategy to help entrepreneurs take risks and open new businesses? We all need to work together to understand how a collective approach could stimulate an upturn in footfall and create more events with partnerships between the council and private enterprise. Let me know how you think this could work – it is now a time for deeds not rhetoric.

In my view we also need to harness the power of ‘brand Ribble Valley’ and the strengths within it. We are covering in this issue some of the award-winning chefs and restaurants in our midst – how can we communicate this to a wider audience? Many of the restaurants are regular advertisers in both our magazines and we also devote space to their success. Could we resurrect the food trail, or create more food events rather than the one-hit-wonder that is the Clitheroe Food Festival?

I also want to use this column to bring people up to date on some of the macro issues from last year. Waddow Hall has now appointed eight trustees through a rigorous recruitment process. They have a huge target of £5m to secure the land and buildings and I’m told by the chair that grassroots fund raising is going well – they absolutely need corporate or benefactor funding as a matter of urgency. I’m once again at a loss as to why RVBC haven’t jumped in to help create a legacy for the wider community to enjoy. In my view this is short-sighted as the positive PR and economic impact would be strong for the area. Time of course is of the essence and the fund raising has urgent deadlines.

One of my favourite hot topics of 2023 was the ‘Mumbai streets’ of Clitheroe and I’m told by a county councillor that we are finally to see some movement with an imminent meeting with the LCC officer in charge. Despite through tardiness, losing out on some of the match funding and of course a huge spike in the cost of building materials, we should take something positive and applaud those who have stuck to their guns and finally made this happen.

I’m hoping that before our next Ribble Valley magazine in early March, I have the chance to meet with the leader of the council and the head of economic development. I’d love to give them the platform to map out the strategy for 2024 – I will report back accordingly.

As a footnote I wanted to let you know about a new magazine we are launching for Spring 2024 – Live the Dales. I’m working with an old colleague from my newspaper days on the project and this is our first launch in many years. Wish us luck and if you want to be involved, get in touch. It’s exciting and a little daunting but we all must keep moving forwards.

Stay positive and be kind to each other.

The views above are my own and I’d be delighted to get some replies to my questions and will report back on any progress and positive outcomes.




Tedd Walmsley

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Tedd Walmsley managing director of Live Magazines shares his views on the latest topics in media.

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