A PETITION calling for 'urgent investment' in Winsford Cross Shopping Centre has picked up almost 500 signatures.

The change.org petition, set up by Winsford Residents Association (WRA), calls on residents to ‘highlight the urgency’ to Cheshire West and Chester Borough Council and Winsford Town Council.

WRA told the Guardian it wanted to push both councils to ‘find a positive way forward to improve Winsford Cross Shopping Centre’, which is owned by Northern Ireland-based MAR Properties.

A spokesman for the Winsford Residents Association said: “The last decade and more has seen our town centre turn into what it is today and although there are many great shops, there is much to be improved in terms of facilities, aesthetics and confidence.

“Only recently the public toilets had to be closed, which is simply not acceptable.

“Winsford town centre has seen a large number of business come and go, forcing residents to shop and spend money out of town.

“Without a decent shopping centre a town has no heart.

"Winsford Town Council used the phrase 'Winsford the only town you will ever need' during their Neighbourhood Plan campaign.

“At the moment we all need every other surrounding town to full fill our basic needs and that balance needs to change."

Since the petition was set up four weeks ago, 440 people have signed.

A number of residents have also spoken out regarding the state of the shopping centre.

Emma Dunning called Winsford’s town centre ‘diabolical’ while Robert Sheckleston called it a ‘disgrace’.

Fiona Gerrard said: “I'm signing this because of all the years I've lived in this town I've never known our town centre to be this run-down.

“We can't get any decent shops as the rents are too high and we are being put to shame by our neighbouring Northwich. Winsford will soon be a ghost town.”

Gemma Holt said Winsford town centre ‘is an embarrassment to its residents’.

Pete Colling said: “Winsford is probably the most run-down, dated, and entertainment-lacking town centre in Cheshire.

“Winsford can only be ignored so long.”

Valerie Fell said: “I love Winsford. Please give it back its grace and honour by investing in everybody’s future and give us a Winsford to be proud of.”

To sign the petition, click here.