Local Government Minister, Grant Shapps MP has today announced that another 15 town centres are to be given extra cash for regeneration projects. This now takes the number of “Portas Pilots” to 27 following on from the 12 towns that were given cash to rejuvenate their shopping areas earlier this year.
One of the successful bidders is Sydenham, Forest Hill and Sydenham who have won £80,000 plus match funding which will be used to renovate empty shop units, set up “town centre manager” units in Forest Hill and Sydenham and establish regular food markets.
More than 400 towns made applications for funding and business support following a report by Ms Portas into the state of the High Street (available here).
The new 15 Portas Pilots are:
- Ashford, whose Town Team will use its local market to attract people back to the high street by offering new stall-holders the opportunity to have a ‘stall for a tenner’;
- Berwick, who will work with local builders and other businesses to give their high street a much-needed facelift;
- Braintree, who will provide mentoring support to the high number of independent shops in the area;
- Brighton (London Road), who will encourage retailers to work together to tackle vandalism and crime to help realise the area’s full potential;
- Hatfield, who will look beyond retail to provide community and event facilities to encourage more visitors to the high street;
- Leamington (Old Town), who plan to focus their efforts on tackling the high vacancy rate in the high street and encourage new businesses to the area;
- Liverpool (Lodge Lane), who will help aspiring young entrepreneurs in the community by offering a mentoring service;
- Waterloo – Lower Marsh and the Cut (London Borough of Lambeth), who plan to set up satellite markets and tackle the high number of empty shops in the area;
- Forest Hill, Kirkdale and Sydenham (London Borough of Lewisham), who plan to renovate 12 empty premises and improve signage in the local area;
- Chrisp Street, Watney Market, Roman Road (London Borough of Tower Hamlets), who will use exploit their high visitor numbers to run a series of public information programmes;
- Loughborough, who plan to involve students from Loughborough University to reinvigorate their high street and encourage budding business owners to consider setting up locally;
- Lowestoft, who will create a Town ‘group’ discount scheme to attract local people, and establish a mentoring scheme in conjunction with schools, colleges and retailers;
- Morecambe, who will set up a community café to provide advice and support for those looking to take up business opportunities;
- Rotherham, who will launch a publicity campaign to highlight the unique nature of the high street and encourage people to ‘shop local’; and
- Tiverton, who plan to improve parking facilities to encourage more visitors and tourists to the town centre