Oswestry's deputy mayor believes the town needs to shape its own future after it was left out of the shortlist for the government's Future High Streets Fund.

Oswestry was part of a bid launched to secure a portion of the £675million available through the scheme – however failed to reach the final 50 shortlisted places.

Shrewsbury was also left out of the final shortlist.

Deputy mayor Councillor Duncan Kerr believes although the situation is not ideal, the town council must now take responsibility and work together with businesses to improve the retail sector.

“It’s obviously disappointing," he said.

“We now need to start a discussion with the people of Oswestry going forward.

“I think it’s about time we had a dialogue across the town about how we can use that money to inject life into our retail core.

“We know that high streets are suffering, not just in Shropshire but across the country, but we don’t want to sit by and watch ours suffer when we have the opportunity to do something about it.

“I think Oswestry Town Council needs to take leadership and actually come up with some plans, consulting with people and businesses, BID and other stakeholders on the way forward.

“We’re in a very important position – there aren’t many towns of Oswestry’s size which have that sort of capital available to them, but it isn’t doing any good in the bank.”

The funding is part of a government scheme to make high streets across the country fit for the future.

Cllr Kerr stated how he felt the process made it difficult for market towns like Oswestry to secure funding.

He added: “We have a lot of these competitions and we’re often put in the same bracket as some cities and areas of London – that doesn’t necessarily feel like a fair way of treating a town the size of Oswestry.

“The process wasn’t very fair to places similar to Oswestry.

“I thought our bid was a good one, perhaps could’ve been a bit better, but here we are now.

“We are in a very fortunate position of having around £3.5million available from the Smithfield fund which we’ve had for about four or five years.”

With 50 locations left in the running for funding, Cllr Kerr believes the process itself did not lend to many towns facing a realistic chance of securing the finance, and that only a select number of towns would be successful.

He said: “It’s always good to have more money available, but I always had the feeling it would be very few towns that were actually successful.

“Now I think it’s time to shape our own destiny for the town.

“It was an avenue worth exploring, it’s come to nothing, now let’s go and shape our future rather than waiting on the good will of other things.”