Published: May 24, 2012
Burnham-On-Sea awaits Portas Pilot bid announcement on Saturday

Burnham-On-Sea will find out this weekend whether it has won a share of £1m and been successful in its bid to become a Portas Pilot town.

The long-awaited announcement will be made on Saturday by MP Grant Shapps, who is the Government’s lead on Mary Portas' plans to revive the country’s high streets.

A total of 12 towns will be chosen from more than 300 applicants across the UK. Each winning town will get a share of a £1m pot to improve their shopping districts - roughly £100,000 each.

Mr Shapps revealed the date of the announcement via Twitter, saying: "Addressed three All Party Parliamentary Groups this afternoon to let them know I’ve now selected the first 12 Portas Pilots. Announcement on Sat!"

Burnham's 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 shopping centre.

Burnham is competing against dozens of other towns across the country who are all bidding for the chance to resuscitate their faltering high streets with the help of cash from the government scheme led by retail guru Mary Portas, above.

The fund, made up of government cash, is one of a series of ideas put forward by Mary Portas in an effort to halt the decline of British high streets as shoppers head to out-of-town superstores and increasingly shop online.


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