CIVIC leaders, councillors and residents of four market towns have been among hundreds of guests at a ball to celebrate a partnership geared at promoting tourism for Ashbourne and the wider area.
The evening was described as a ‘community-spirited’ ball held at the Alton Towers Hotel which attracted guests from Ashbourne, Uttoxeter, Cheadle and Leek to join together in honour of the ‘Four Towns’ Initiative.
The initiative is now in its second year and is centred around helping all four towns promote themselves and each other, while at the same time ensuring key events do not overlap.
Ashbourne Town Councillor Denise Brown attended the ball with her daughter, fellow town councillor Lucy Green and Lucy’s husband Toby Green.
She was one of around 90 people from Ashbourne, and among a handful of town councillors representing Ashbourne Town Council.
She said: “I think it went very well, it was a fabulous night and it’s such a lovely venue.
“The Four Towns Initiative is in its early days still, it’s only in its second year since it was rolled out but everybody seems really pleased with how it’s working.”
Uttoxeter Town Councillor Martin Blencowe, who also attended the event, said: “The Four Towns Initiative is a common market in the interests of the town.
“The evening was incredible, 240 people attended which is more than the 190 of last year.
“It’s an affordable and enjoyable evening where people from our communities get together to enjoy themselves.
“Meetings for the Four Towns are held approximately every six weeks and aim to promote our common interests.
“More than a year ago, we linked our websites so that we don’t clash and put on meetings at the same time.
“We aim to promote tourism across the four towns Ashbourne, Leek, Cheadle and Uttoxeter and currently, our aim is to look for possible ways to get grant money from various funds available to us.
“The initiative has its own constitution and is supported by a variety of people across the four towns who are interested in collaborating to promote tourism.”
The Four Towns constitution was founded on the concept that each town has similar concerns for attracting tourism.
People from the four market towns aim to come together to find solutions to the issues and to assist each other where possible.
The current aim of the partnership is to apply for and attract grant money from national and local funding pots, while discussing opportunities for closer co-operation between the towns.