Published: March 30, 2012
It's a wrap! Burnham's Mary Portas bid and supporting video submitted

Burnham-On-Sea's bid for a share of £1million of regeneration funding for the town, backed by retail guru Mary Portas, was formally submitted on Friday (March 30th).

Burnham's application for £99,000 was submitted just before the deadline after several weeks' work by the recently-formed Town Team (pictured).

Hopes are high that the bid - which includes an online video shown below on this page - will be successful in winning funding to give Burnham's town centre a boost.

One of the Town Team, Alex Turco, told shortly after the bid was submitted: "It has been an increasingly frantic and huge effort by our Town Team to submit our bid today to become one of the twelve Portas Pilots."

"We are delighted by the support we have received from the town to date. However, this is just the beginning and in some respect the hard work starts now. We need everyone to 'Believe in Burnham' so that we can make our vision reality."

The bid document outlines how the £99,000 of funding would be spent in Burnham to meet a 'vision' of modernising the town and helping it become a thriving shopping centre.

If successful, the money would be spent on publicity and promotion (£20,000), a High Street on tour initiative (£5,000), a Made in Burnham promotion (£4,000), Additional Events (£5,000), Weekly Markets (£5,000), Building Front Grants (£12,000), Rent and Rates subsidy for new businesses (£10,000), Sea Wall and Security Shutter Art Schemes (£4,000), a new Coach Meet & Greet scheme (£1,000), Hot-desking office space (£4,000), a Right to try scheme (£2,000), an apprenticeship scheme (£3,000), new branding based around 'Believe in Burnham' (£1,000), Parking subsidy to create shopper’s car park (£10,000), and 'Sandy Sunday' seaside events (£8,000). A further £5,000 would be set aside for liability insurance, administration, legal/accountancy fees and monitoring.

Burnham's bid was submitted to the Department for Communities and Local Government by the Town Team and includes a document outlining the bid, plus a video and over 200 pledges of support from local groups and people.

The video was compiled by Ben Metcalfe, Josh Randall and Richard Hall - and features free-running traceurs Dave, Paul and Alex, numerous residents, and Burnham's rescue hovercraft The Spirit of Lelaina. The music is provided by Vermin's album 'Disgraceland' used by kind permission.

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.

The £1m pot will be shared out between 12 towns, with successful bids able to receive up to £100,000 plus the benefit of expertise.

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.

News of which towns have been successful is expected to be announced over the next three months.

Meanwhile, Burnham's next Town Team meeting will be held on Tuesday 24th April when all will be welcome.


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