NORTHWICH councillors have vowed to work hard to get people ‘into the habit’ of visiting the town centre.

The pledge was made during Monday’s town council meeting, where councillors also stated that Northwich is still ‘open for business’ following the fire at the outdoor market.

Praise was given to regular events such as the artisan market and the impact it has had on footfall in the town.

But councillors agreed that more needs to be done to ensure that different sort of events, no matter how big or small, are happening in the town centre on a regular basis

Speaking at the meeting, Leftwich councillor Andrew Cooper said: “Over the past year, footfall in Northwich has gone up and the town centre itself is doing much better others locally.

“Footfall has not been as good however since the flooding and is down on the same period in the previous year.

“This is due to a succession of things, including the roadworks on London Road, and we’ve now had the fire at the outdoor market.

“Representatives from the council need to get together with Northwich BID and regeneration officers to ensure that footfall continues to grow.

“The artisan market is great one weekend per month, but we need to work with all organisations involved in the town centre to fill gaps in the calendar and get people into the habit of coming into the town centre.”

Also speaking at the meeting was Witton Councillor Sam Naylor, who added that Friday’s fire cannot be allowed to have a negative impact on other businesses in the town centre.

He said: “I went to the market that morning with Mike Amesbury and made a commitment to distraught traders to do everything we can to get things back to normal.

“I will also be putting pressure on Cheshire West and Chester Council to make sure they give the impression that Northwich is still open for business.

“As well as the traders at the outdoor market, I feel for the shops that are still open around the market, as it looks like a disaster zone.

“You’ve got the demolition of Weaver Square going on, the fire devastated market and the construction site for new retirement apartments.

“These businesses are suffering as a result, and I will work with Cheshire West and Chester Council’s business support department to do all we can for both them and the traders who lost everything in the fire.”