Your editorial regarding how we can bring vibrancy to Matlock’s shopping experience is right on the mark.
Over here in Wirksworth, exactly the same initiatives are taking place to make Wirksworth a great place to visit and, importantly, somewhere to linger a while and enjoy the unique combination of an unspoilt market town nestling in a beautiful rural setting.
Wirksworth has much to offer, being a town with ‘proper’ shops, and many places to eat and drink. It possesses intimate bistros and no fewer than six pubs, all serving real ale, in easy reach of the marketplace.
Wirksworth is also home to two markets; a traditional one on Tuesdays and an excellent Farmers’ Market on the first Saturday of every month, offering choice produce from genuinely local stall holders. Wirksworth too has a railway that connects with the main line at Duffield Station and gives passengers a leisurely eight-mile journey before arriving at Wirksworth – you can even buy a through ticket from Matlock!
This month we shall be launching the Destination Wirksworth campaign.
Wirksworth is a destination that deserves recognition and such a campaign must come from the whole town and not just one organisation.
For all our towns to survive and thrive, everybody with a stake in their town’s future must become an entrepreneur and think of new ways not only to promote but change how they interact with their audience.
Our district council can only do so much.
Yes, they can change legislation to allow traders more flexibility in how they do business and perhaps they can also do more to make our towns more visitor-friendly: are excessive parking charges a tax on visitors and shoppers?
Ultimately, it will be the quick-wittedness of our traders, visitor attractions and the likes of Peak Rail and the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway that will determine whether our fine towns will thrive or wither away.
Destination Wirksworth is a beginning: now it is over to our partners in the town to take the campaign forward.
Neil Ferguson-Lee, vice-chairman