Chamber Chat - Chris Gardner
I recently became a Director of the Chamber and hope to advance the interests of the district and especially of my home town and professional base Morecambe. This has caused me to look around and assess my view of the town and its future.
For most of my youth Morecambe seemed in a state of inevitable decline. People had started to holiday abroad and the once proud resort seemed to have no future. At school in the 1990s I thought I would have to move away to get a decent job.
When I am in other parts of the country and talk about Morecambe I get a range of responses. Not all of these are positive and I don’t think many are fair or show an understanding of what the town has to offer.
Basically, it has long been easy to take a negative view of the town as a place to live and do business and I think this is wrong.
Looking around I see positive signs. The town was packed with visitors on several occasions recently. People may not have their main holiday here but they definitely want to come for the day or weekend.
A colleague tried to book a local restaurant earlier and could not because it was fully booked. Developers are building on the promenade and are clearly emboldened to price ambitiously.
I get positive feedback from clients who are growing and becoming more profitable. The main issue facing many is recruitment, normally a good indicator that the economy is doing well.
I don’t think there is a better view in England than ours across the bay.
In short, the (perhaps not undeserved) negative view of the town prevalent in my youth has made way for optimism and I am delighted to live and work here.