Tameside Council, together with Tameside College, this week announced an ambitious plan to invest in further education facilities in the borough.
This is a bold plan that will change Tameside for the better and impact on people throughout the borough - creating jobs and investing in new educational facilities.
However, this is not simply about new buildings and saving money, it is part of a broader effort to make our town centres stronger and more resilient during difficult times.
This is something that matters greatly to me because I believe that town centres play a central role in helping facilitate a sense of community and well-being.
That is why I am delighted that in the run up to Christmas, the local Town Teams across our local area are working closely with business forums to ensure that there is a wide variety of events that will help bring families and local residents back into their town centre.
In Stalybridge, on the 31st October, there will be the first ever lantern parade which should be a great occasion for children and adults alike.
This event follows on from a hugely successful craft market organised by Katherine Brookes from My Wonderful Little Designs where over 1700 people attended the event on the day. And let’s not forget about the Christmas lights switch-on on the 30th November with a special visit from Santa, organised by Stalybridge Business Forum with support from the Town Team.
In Hyde, the Town Team and business forum will soon be launching the new ‘I love Hyde’ magazine which will offer information about local shops, the indoor market and community events that will be happening in Hyde.
One such event is the Halloween on the 26th October in the Civic Square. This will be followed by the annual Christmas lights switch-on on the 15th November with an ice rink visiting the Civic Square on the 23rd November.
And in Mossley, the Town Team have been working hard to secure a Christmas market with more details of the event hopefully being released in the near future. This builds on efforts to develop an art trail in conjunction with the local Heritage Society.
All of the Town Teams are made up of volunteers from all parts of the community including local businesses, community and faith leaders, residents, councillors and officers from the local authority.
It is this sense of cooperation that continues to endure across all of our local town centres and I am looking forward to what promises to be an exciting run up to Christmas this year.