Chamber Chat with Mal Garnett
As the latest addition to the Board of Lancaster & District Chamber of Commerce of Commerce I’ve been asked several times why I put myself forward. It’s 12 years now since I first moved to Lancaster. When I met my wife, I also fell in love with her hometown and it was my suggestion that we leave London and our glamorous careers at Selfridges behind to move our family here.
Of course in 2004 it was a different place. There was budget for regeneration and we spent hours working with the Vision Board. Collectively that board of experienced local people considered the legacy of opinion that had been gathered over the years and worked to envisage just how great our district could be.
Now, not only is there minimal government budget for improvement, there is hardly enough to keep us standing still. However it does not change my view that this is one of the best places in the country to work, live or visit.
The Vision is still there in a thorough published document. All we have to do is to pick up where we left off. However, if we want to make a difference now, we are going to have to do it ourselves. People need to give their time and their skills free of charge for a while as the Board of Lancaster & District Chamber of Commerce do.
I run a marketing agency and my day job is dedicated to increasing footfall to retailers, businesses and destinations. I believe I can offer my skills to help bring people here. First though we need to work together to make it a place worth coming to.
With the new road, now is the right time to start. I’m looking forward to working with whoever else is willing to be involved to find a way of thinking laterally. By using our creativity, imagination, inspiration and skills, we can work beyond the financial restrictions to bring Lancaster and Morecambe back to life. I feel proud to be part of that journey.