INNOVATIVE ideas, including a cable car link to Malham, could transform the Settle of the future.

Over 100 forward thinkers, keen to enhance the town, took part in a strategic planning meeting at the Victoria Hall on Monday.

Discussions produced dynamic suggestions including moving part of Sowarth Industrial Estate and replacing it with desirable but affordable riverside housing, enhancing the Market Place by removing cars, helping young entrepreneurs set up employment enhancing IT businesses, expanding outward bound facilities, creating a lake on land between Settle and Rathmell and building a public square surrounded by shops and businesses on Craven District Council's land adjoining the Victoria Hall.

Other ideas include creating a "hub" in the police station building incorporating services such as the library, tourist information centre, Craven District Council's payments office, Business Link, the police and Craven College under one roof.

Additionally, when the quarry licences expire in the future the redundant quarries could be turned into tourist meccas, transformed into attractions similar to Cornwall's Eden Project, huge domed all weather pitches or mountain bike tracks. Langcliffe quarry site could become a new space for business.

As reported previously, Settle has been designated a Renaissance Market Town with experts assigned to drive forward an economy boosting vision of the future.

Consultant John Thompson, who is leading the project and has worked on Wenceslas Square in Prague and the Schlossplatz Square in Berlin said: "The important thing about the process is thinking 50 years ahead. What is important is to think what Settle could become.

"People are very keen that in the future there should be a balanced community.

"There are young, talented people leaving the town. The future has to be a combination of good job opportunities and housing. Most new jobs are created by people starting their own businesses and IT businesses can be started anywhere."

Mr Thompson added: "The challenge is to find something that becomes sustainable. We need to have a consensus about what the future of the town should be. We need a conviction about what we are trying to create and the confidence to attract funding.

"It's to do with confidence and strengthening the economy, providing people with the opportunity to create enterprise. The biggest industry is tourism and we want to promote this, so Settle is not thought to be a place retired people go to for cream teas.

"We found tremendous loyalty and commitment to the place and a budding artist community," he added. "Settle is a pretty fabulous place and it could be optimised.

"The Market Square, for example, is sliced across the middle. Settle is the only place I have ever seen this - it leaves a fountain stranded on the other side. I think having been to the meeting a lot of people will be looking differently at the Market Place from now on.

"We have got to be ambitious and have to be ready when the opportunities are there to be there first."

The Settle District Renaissance Team, together with Craven District Council, will drive forward the changes.

It will encompass all the work previously done by the Chamber of Trade, the Community Investment Prospectus and the Erskine Report to create positive results.

A report on ideas suggested at the meeting will be presented to the town on Thursday June 5 and the Renaissance Team will meet monthly up until Christmas.

The aim will be to create drawings of the team's vision of Settle which can be shown to residents.

By October an investment plan should be drafted showing possible sources of funding for projects.

The Renaissance Towns initiative, which involves 40 towns across the county, is backed by Yorkshire Forward which has earmarked £2.8 million for the project.