ENTERPRISING ideas could transform Winsford into a thriving destination for specialist shops, exciting leisure activities and historic attractions, claims a Winsford mum.

Karen Dean shared her ambitious vision with the Guardian to encourage residents to speak out and suggest how they would like to see their growing town developed.

The mum-of-three welcomes high quality materials chosen for the new town park such as sandstone pillars, turned metal railings and cobbled paths and believes the proposed regeneration of Winsford Cross shopping centre also deserves striking architecture.

Karen, of Grange Lane, said: "Winsford needs a shopping centre to be proud of. I am concerned that we will be fobbed off with cheap breeze block buildings.

"Why not consider choosing timber framed construction with Cheshire brick or sandstone and a quadrangle of timber framed buildings for restaurants and cafes with a landscaped area at the front?"

Building smaller retail units, she suggests, could make it more affordable for independent businesses to open shops like a bakery, butchers or jewellers.

The town already has many hidden gems, she believes, that could be developed such as The Flashes beauty spot.

"It is incredible that we have our very own picturesque lake district on our door step but the majority of Winsfordians have never seen it," said Karen. "There are otters up there and all kinds of wildlife but it is difficult to get to.

"We need a road to access it and parking and picnic areas for visitors. Why is there no hotel? Overlooking the Flashes would be a perfect location."

Other landmarks like the Brunner Guildhall, Verdin Building and Cross Base and Lock-Up on Delamere Street, she feels, should be protected.

"We should be ashamed of ourselves as a town by how we neglect our historic Grade 2 listed buildings and monuments," she said. "There are no tourist style boards to describe interesting points about them or direct people.

"Winsford has a long and varied history. We have experienced industrial development of salt and cotton yet we have no museum. It could be used by visitors, schools and historians."

The town, she says, also needs more leisure facilities for young people such as an indoor climbing wall.

"Winsford has been neglected for far too long," added Karen. "We need someone with vision, energy and imagination to lead us.

"People deserve to have somebody who cares about them and gives them facilities that they can enjoy."

How would you like to see Winsford developed?

Send your ideas to winsford@guardiangrp.co.uk.