Mary Portas and the Local Government Minister, Grant Shapps, have launched a competition to choose 12 towns to become “Portas Pilots”, with the winners benefiting from a share of £1million to help turn around their “unloved and unused” high streets.

The cash incentive is offered to those towns that come up with the best High Street blueprints in a move that fulfills the first and last recommendations of Mary Portas’ High Streets Review, commissioned by the Prime Minister and published before Christmas.

Mary Portas said on her website www.maryportas.com “ I am thrilled that now there is an opportunity to turn my recommendations into reality by giving communities across the UK the opportunity to come forward with their vision for breathing new life into their locality.  I hope my Review has inspired people with a new vision for tomorrow where our High Streets are re-imagined as destinations for socialising, culture, wellbeing, learning, as well as shopping.  I want the first twelve Town Teams to challenge the old ways of working, experiment, take risks and reaffirm their place at the heart of the community.  A place we all want to be and can be proud of.”

Nigel Reed, Chair of the Weymouth BID is supporting the Weymouth Town Team, who are a newly formed group of local business people who are making an application for Portas Pilot funding.    Applications must be submitted by 30th March and successful towns will be notified in May 2012.

Successful Towns will need to demonstrate how they have the energy, enthusiasm and vision to make a real difference to their town centres and make them the hubs of their communities.  Areas will also need to demonstrate how they plan to breathe new life into their high streets and shopping parades.


For more information please contact Nigel Reed, Chair Weymouth BID, Tel 01305 767675 or Mobile 07967 362585 or email nigelreed@basepoint.co.uk

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