A GREAT granddad is aiming to revive Middlewich’s shopping scene by creating a directory of every business in the town.

Bill Armsden, of Rowan Close, is in the process of painstakingly visiting each trader in the town centre and surrounding streets.

The aim is to create a free online guide which will take shape as a virtual tour of Middlewich.

Shoppers will also be able to discover all the businesses that work from home and town’s online stores at a glance.

Bill, 67, said: “Middlewich is a ghost town during the week. It’s a commuter town so people dash out in their cars.

“But if we don’t support the shops they’re going to die. This is just the first step to see what we can do to help.”

Bill originally lived in Middlewich in the 1960s and became interested in photography after he retired two and a half years ago.

The father-of-five then stumbled across images of the town from decades ago on the community website, Middlewich Diary.

This began Bill’s collaboration with Dave Roberts, who will be putting the directory together, after the pair were inspired by the artisan market.

He added: “There was lot of debate about whether the market was good for Middlewich or not.

“Some traders said they were absolutely dead because the road was closed and others were saying it was buzzing.

“But through that we saw the necessity of increasing footfall in the town. It became clear that if we don’t use the shops we’re going to lose them.”

Bill, who used to work in freight forwarding industry, is appealing for Middlewich businesses to get in touch, particularly those that work from home or online.

“It’s about making people aware of what is in our town,” he said.

“The directory will be there purely to generate interest in Middlewich and once the shop owners know where we are they can update the information as it changes.”

- To get in touch with Bill, email wparmsden@btinternet.com