A NORTHWICH town councillor says he is not happy with the BBC’s depiction of the town after a Radio 4 show compared it unfavourably to Altrincham.

On Thursday, April 14, BBC Radio 4 broadcast a show called 'A Tale of Two Towns' which compared the development of Barons Quay and Altrincham Market House.

The podcast focused on the effect that both projects have had on the towns but some people are not happy with how Northwich was represented in the discussion.

During the broadcast it was stated by the presenter that the empty units in Barons Quay are ‘shocking’ and that the development is an example of ‘how not to develop your town.’

Cllr Sam Naylor said: “I am Northwich born and bred and I was very disappointed with how the town was reflected in such a negative way whereas in my view, things are happening in Northwich.

“It was an £80 million investment that was probably made in the wrong time. It came in the face of global economic catastrophe in terms of the banking crisis and it was delivered in the face of austerity and more recently the uncertainty surrounding Brexit."

Northwich Guardian:

Sports Direct opened in Barons Quay last week

"The Barons Quay development is a long-term one and my hope is that eventually it will bring people to Northwich for the whole day, with shops, entertainment and restaurants where visitors can have an experience."

Sam believes that the area surrounding Barons Quay could be utilised for more public events after the success of the Now Northwich and The Charlatans’ North by Northwich festivals last year.

Sam said: “This space is quite open and with the river it makes quite a beautiful area.

“It was used for the Now Northwich festival which was absolutely fantastic. With that and The Charlatans festival we have shown that the town can be an entertainment centre.

“We are in an ideal place for people to commute to Manchester and Liverpool and it really has got a tremendous amount of potential.”

Northwich Guardian:

Cllr Sam Naylor was disappointed with the radio show

Louise Hough, from Crafty Stitches, was interviewed for the BBC show and she was also unsatisfied with the negativity of the discussion surrounding Northwich.

On the radio, Louise suggested that a lack of momentum at the beginning of the development is the main problem facing Barons Quay.

Louise said on the show: “I quite liked the masterplan, if you ask my mum she would tell you that she completely hated it.
“It’s really exciting for the town that we can have this development and that money is being spent here. It’s just not moved quick enough getting the businesses into the town centre and Barons Quay

After the radio show the Guardian caught up with Louise to ask what she thought of the podcast.

Louise said: “My response on the radio was difficult because I like Barons Quay and I explained at the time that there wasn’t enough momentum at the beginning to get the shops filled.

“It came across on the interview that I’m really negative about Barons Quay which I’m not.

“I’m a positive person but I’m just disappointed that things have not happened quick enough.”