A regional daily editor has hit out at a critical national newspaper headline about his patch – describing it as a “step too far”.
Bolton News editor Ian Savage has criticised the headline ‘The north remembers: How once-proud Bolton became a nothing of a town’, which appeared as part of an article for The Guardian written by Bolton native Andy Walton.
The piece described how Bolton town centre has been struggling in recent years, but also looked at “signs of a fight back” and ongoing regeneration projects.
In response a group of people in the town have begun a social media campaign, backed by the News, in a bid to show Bolton in a positive light.
In a piece announcing his paper’s backing for the campaign, Ian said: “I agree with the group that the headline was a step too far and the many positive aspects of the town were ignored — the country parks, the historic halls, the museum collection and the investment being pumped into the town.
“There is no doubt Bolton, like many other towns has its challenges. Consumer habits have changed as online shopping becomes more popular, but Bolton has responded to those challenges by attracting people back into town with more leisure facilities. High street stores which left have returned.
“So we are encouraging people to get on aboard with the campaign. A nothing of a town would certainly not attract 267,000 visitors as was the case over the Bank Holiday weekend.”
Sarah Longlands, who launched the campaign, told the News: “Our new campaign is about rediscovering the reasons that we love Bolton. In doing so we hope to find out how we can work together to become a town we can be all be proud to call our home.
“The Guardian recently published a piece that described how Bolton town centre has been struggling in recent years. The article tapped into local anger, frustration and sadness about the way in which the town has changed as many landmark shops and buildings have closed or been altered in recent times.
“However, many of us were dismayed at the headline of the article, which ran ‘How Bolton became a nothing of a town’. It’s true that Bolton has its fair share of challenges. No one is trying to deny that.”