Burnham-On-Sea's bid to become Portas Pilot town is turned down
bid to become a Portas Pilot town and win a share of £1.2m
of regeneration funding was formally turned down on Saturday (May
26th), but the door has been left open for a second attempt later
Government Minister Grant Shapps, who is the Governments
lead on Mary Portas' plans to revive the countrys high streets,
has today announced that Bedford, Croydon, Dartford, Bedminster
in Bristol, Liskeard, Margate, Market Rasen, Nelson in Lancashire,
Newbiggin by the Sea, Stockport, Stockton on Tees and Wolverhampton
have been successful.
towns were chosen from 370 applicants across the UK, with each
getting a share of a £1.2m pot to improve their shopping
Town Team's Alex Turco told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "Naturally,
the Town Team is disappointed not to be a Portas Pilot. A lot
of people put in a prodigious amount of work in a short time to
prepare the bid and for that we are grateful. Nevertheless we
had to be in the competition to stand a chance of winning and
with over 370 towns involved, our chances were slim."
"However, we have the opportunity to succeed in the second
round of the Portas Pilot funding and the Town Team wishes to
try again. The recent furore over the Jubilee bunting shows that
there is a need for greater care and attention to our Town Centre
and the Town Team is confident that the enthusiasm shown to date
can be put to good use."
"We will be having a Town Team meeting this Tuesday (29th
May) at 6.30pm at the Princess Theatre and Arts Centre where everyone
is welcome. There are plenty of ways we can work together to make
Burnham Town Centre a better place to visit, shop and do business
and making this happen is what will drive forward the Town Team
application for £99,000 was submitted with a video and over
200 pledges of support from local groups and people just before
the deadline in March after several weeks' work by the recently-formed
Town Team. The
bid outlined how the money would be spent in Burnham to meet a
'vision' of modernising the town and helping it become a thriving
Shapps said unsuccessful applicants should not despair
the quality of the bids had been so high that he was launching
a second round of the competition, which will see 15 additional
pilots announced by the end of July. He added that there
is no need for unsuccessful applicants to reapply, although they
can sharpen up their bids and submit them again by 30 June, which
is also the deadline for new town teams to apply.
Mr Shapps said: "The best local high streets offer more
than simply shopping they are the beating heart of their
neighbourhoods: places to meet, work, relax and come together
as a community. Its why this competition to become a Portas
Pilot has captured the imagination of the nation, with communities
across the country uniting to support their high streets."
"The quality and sheer number of applications has been overwhelming
12 winning bids now have the chance receive expert advice
and financial support, but I believe more towns deserve to be
selected. So today I can announce a second round of the competition
will see 15 more town centres benefit from this unique opportunity.
Together these pilots can be the vanguard of a high street revolution,
and others can look to their example to kick start a renaissance
of our town centres."
Mary Portas added: "I've been deeply touched by both the
quality and creativity of the bids and the momentum Britains
first town teams have generated in just a few short weeks. 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. My sincere
congratulations to everyone who entered."
WINNING PORTAS PILOT TOWNS:
The 12 winning towns who will share £1.2m of funding
offering mentoring support for High Street businesses and community
use of empty properties.
Greater London - transforming the riot-stricken areas
historic Old Town market into a thriving market, food and cultural
Kent - opening up central spaces for use by classes and clubs,
from the Scouts to Slimming World and starting a school
Bristol putting Bedminster on the map for Street Art
and Street Theatre. A bicycle rickshaw service and a review of
parking will also tackle the traffic environment.
Cornwall - competing against the edge of town supermarket
with a vibrant arts scene, guerrilla gardening and yarn bombing
to inject fun back into the town centre.
Kent - putting education and enjoyment at the heart of the
town centres transformation with courses, job club
services and pop up shops.
Lincolnshire - drawing customers in by restoring the market
town look and feel, advertising free parking and mentoring new
- attracting local students with a young persons café,
sports activities, and a new art and vintage market.
by the Sea, Northumberland - better branding of the town to
draw people in, improving local transport and hosting pop up shops.
Greater Manchester - realising the character and potential
of the Markets and Underbanks area with a creative arts complex,
outdoor screenings, a new parking strategy and street champions.
on Tees, Teeside - live entertainment at the Globe Theatre
to boost the evening leisure economy alongside specialist High
Street and evening markets.
- bringing the city to life with modern day town criers and
on-street performers and a dragons den style
competition to support local entrepreneurs.