High Streets to share £1.2m funding
Published: 26th May 2012 07:47:39
Twelve English High Streets - from Cornwall to Northumberland - will share a £1.2m pot of government cash to rejuvenate shopping areas.
"Town teams" in areas including Liskeard and Newbiggin-by-the-Sea will try out ideas proposed by retail guru Mary Portas in her High Street review.
Portas, who will make a TV programme about the 12, said she was "deeply touched" by the "creativity" of bids.
Fifteen more "Portas pilot" areas will be selected later this year.
"It is now clearer to me than ever that Britain wants its town centres revitalised and the energy and accountability for that needs to rest with the people who live and do business there," Portas said.
Minister of State for Communities and Local Government Grant Shapps, meanwhile, said the competition had "captured the imagination of the nation with communities across the country uniting to support their High Streets".
He said "the winners are going to get the focus and attention from Mary Portas herself and from me as the government minister".
Portas - star of TV shows such as Mary Queen of Shops - would meet all the winning bidders and, along with his department, offer advice, Mr Shapps added.
He said the High Street must work hard to compete with out-of-town shopping centres and the internet.
"To make towns work, they're going to have to offer something different and interesting, something that the internet can't provide.
"That's obviously human contact - a place to go and meet, a place where there are other interesting activities other than just shopping."
Michael Weedon, deputy chief executive of the British Independent Retailers Association, said there was much work to be done.
"This is money being given to twelve out of 371 towns that applied to it, this is not going to be a magic bullet for solving this and we must remember that it's a pilot.
"This is about trying something out to achieve something and you have to be positive about this. They have to approach it positively to try and make a change."
Bedford, in Bedfordshire, Croydon, in London, and Bedminster, in Bristol, as well as Dartford and Margate - both in Kent - were also among successful towns chosen from more than 370 applications.
Market Rasen, in Lincolnshire, Nelson, in Lancashire, Stockport, in Greater Manchester, Stockton-on-Tees, in North Yorkshire, and Wolverhampton, in the West Midlands, have also been selected.
The introduction of a young person's cafe, sports activities and an art and vintage market in Nelson as well as a "school for shopkeepers" in Dartford are among examples of how different towns aim to put money to use.
The Wolverhampton town team will stage a Dragons' Den-style competition for local entrepreneurs while a creative arts complex, outdoor screening and new parking strategy are planned for Stockport.
The successful towns will also receive support and advice from Ms Portas and other retail experts.
The deadline for the next round of pilot applications from town teams - made up of councillors, landlords, business owners and MPs - is 30 June.
In March, the government announced it had accepted "virtually all" 28 recommendations made in the report it commissioned from Portas on how best to revive the High Street.
They included making parking more affordable and disincentives for landlords who left shops empty.
At 05:47:55 in HeadlinesThe Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have paid their respects to Australia's war dead on the final day of their tour.
At 05:42:09 in HeadlinesIn the past 10 years, 80 people aged 21 and under have killed themselves in prison - the government has set up a review to find out why so many young people die in custody. One mother explains what it is like to have a child die behind bars.
At 05:06:03 in HeadlinesA US judge has ordered a hearing to consider new evidence relating to the 1987 double-murder conviction of a British businessman in Miami.
At 04:53:55 in HeadlinesIran has cut state subsidies on petrol in a move that saw prices rise at midnight by up to 75%.
At 04:41:10 in HeadlinesUS President Barack Obama is in Seoul for a visit that comes amid concern that North Korea may be planning a fourth nuclear test.
At 04:36:51 in BusinessConsumer prices in Tokyo rose at their fastest pace in 22 years in April, surging 2.7% from a year earlier, according to preliminary data.
At 04:10:36 in BusinessEd Miliband will unveil plans to tackle the "epidemic" of zero-hours contracts in a speech in Scotland later.
At 03:47:29 in HeadlinesBolivia's military chiefs have ordered the dismissal of more than 700 troops who have been protesting to demand better working conditions.
At 03:35:43 in WorldWith the World Cup just six weeks away and the Olympics on the horizon, social dysfunction in Brazil's Rio de Janeiro is subject to increasing international scrutiny.
At 03:28:21 in HeadlinesUK science is to get one of the biggest, most capable polar research vessels in the world.
Harvard CitationBBC News, 2012. High Streets to share £1.2m funding [Online] (Updated 26th May 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1431050/High-Streets-to-share-1-2m-funding [Accessed 25th Apr 2014]
News In Other Categories
Ed Miliband will unveil plans to tackle the "epidemic" of zero-hours contracts in a speech in Scotland later.
As Liverpool fans dare to dream of a first league title in 24 years the club has revealed its own lofty plans for their ground.
With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com
Four of the biggest technology firms - Apple, Google, Intel and Adobe - have settled a class action lawsuit alleging they conspired to hold down salaries.
Ten candidates will be vying for three European parliament seats in Northern Ireland, it has been confirmed.
A new online map of England and Wales allows people to enter their postcode and find their community's risk of developing 14 conditions, such as heart disease and lung cancer.