The people of Bingley are to have a say in its future following a major study of the town by management consultants DTZ Pieda.

The Town Centre Partnership, who sponsored the report, meet tonight to plot the way ahead.

Its key recommendations - as identified by the Telegraph & Argus last week - are the development of tourist attractions and to capitalise on its outstanding heritage, in particular Five Rise Locks and the historic buildings in the town centre.

Key member Gordon Grist, Operations Controller of Damart, said of the report: "My reaction at this time is that there are obviously items in there that are not dependent on the relief road going ahead.

"One of these is that town centre manager David Dinsey is going to wear a dual hat by becoming strategy manager.

"We are also looking to see involvement through the community, particularly in design of logos as mentioned in the branding of the five Rise Locks.

"In the initial stages that's all we will be able to do. But the partnership should be seen to be doing something and I am favourably impressed by the report, they have done a good job.

"It will not be allowed to gather dust. It is a good reference document for progressing the town's future, although I think it will be modified by the people."

Mr Dinsey said he thought much of the report was common sense. He said: "The general feeling is that there will be no more investment until a decision on the road has been made. Some of the shops can't even have their doors open because of the noise.

"It is a shame that Bingley has had the blight of the road. If and when the relief road comes it is surely needed."

He added that it had been a surprise to read that major companies such as MacDonald's, Kwik Save, Iceland and Argos had expressed an interest in investing in the town.

David Blackburn, waterway manager for British Waterways, said he was pleased to see in the report ideas to strengthen links between the town and the canal.

Mark Rand of Bingley Civic Trust was keen to emphasise the positive contribution that the heritage of the local corridor could make to the town's prosperity.

He also noted that the completion of the bypass was a key enabling factor for implementing the report's recommendations.

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