Video courts the Queen of Shops

Rushden traders armed with goods during the making of the town's film
Rushden traders armed with goods during the making of the town's film

A town has released the video it hopes will help it win a share of £1m.

Rushden Town Partnership has created a video showing past and present images of the town and the support it has from its traders for their bid to get Queen of Shops Mary Portas to back Rushden.

They hope their Rebooting Rushden campaign will help Rushden to become one of 12 towns chosen by the retail guru as a place to test out her ideas to revive struggling town centres and to win a share of £1m.

Rushden Town Partnership committee member Adrian House, who owns P W House Jewellers in the High Street, said: “The video includes a mix of old and new photographs of the High Street.

“It’s a tall order to let people throughout the country know through a three-minute video about your town, its history and what you are trying to do but that’s what we’ve tried to do.

“The video shows that the town was founded with the boot and shoe industry and how it has been decimated by the loss of that industry.

“It also shows some new pictures of some of the shops which have used grants from the council to improve their appearance.

“It shows what we are capable of and that if we can get more money we could do a lot more.”

One of the ideas the partnership is putting forward in its bid is the creation of a new shopping map to highlight the High Street’s 80 independent traders.

The traders hope the map would be particularly useful to newcomers to the town.

Mr House said: “The message would be – stop getting in your car and using your petrol to go elsewhere when we have great independent shops here.”

Cllr Marian Hollomon, who helped found the partnership, added: “We’re also looking at putting pictures in the windows of empty shops like they do in some of the bigger towns and cities.

“They would be 3D pictures which would show what you might find inside.

“We would have to get permission from the landlords but we think it would enhance the High Street.”