Burnham-On-Sea announces second bid to become Portas Pilot town
is to make a second bid to become a Portas Pilot town and win
a share of regeneration funding, despite learning at the weekend
that its first attempt had failed.
we reported here,
Government Minister Grant Shapps - who is the Governments
lead on Mary Portas' plans to revive the countrys high streets
- announced last Saturday that Burnham was not among the 12 towns
across the UK selected in round one.
at a meeting of Burnham's Town Team on Tuesday (May 29th), members
decided to go ahead with a second bid, to be submitted by the
end of June. Fifteen additional pilot towns are to be selected
by the government in July.
Mayor, Ken Smout, who is also a member of the Town Team, said:
"We need to quickly put the first bid behind us and move
forward with a second attempt, bringing the whole community together."
team's Bev Milner Simonds told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "We have
decided to tweak and improve our first bid and make a second attempt,
taking advice from those towns which were successful in the first
round. This is an exciting opportunity to make a difference in
Burnham. Many good ideas to improve the town have been put forward
which we are acting upon."
groups have been formed to look at subjects ranging from creating
new apprenticeships and boosting tourism to introducing 'Sandy
Sundays' to encourage more visitors to Burnham. Other proposals
include a new 'meet and greet' scheme for visitors, a sea wall
and shop shutter art scheme and encouraging the sale of more 'Made
in Burnham' products.
team's Alex Turco added: "Lots of activity is underway within
the team, with members forming many sub-groups to take forward
a number of town centre improvements. There are plenty of ways
we can work together to make Burnham Town Centre a better place
to visit, shop and do business and we welcome the help and expertise
of more volunteers."
first application for £99,000 was submitted with a video
and over 200 pledges of support from local groups and people.
12 towns chosen - Bedford, Croydon, Dartford, Bedminster in Bristol,
Liskeard, Margate, Market Rasen, Nelson in Lancashire, Newbiggin
by the Sea, Stockport, Stockton on Tees and Wolverhampton - were
among 370 applicants across the UK, with each getting a share
of a £1.2m pot to improve their shopping areas.
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."
Portas said in a statement at the weekend: "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
Top, Burnham Town Team's Bev Milner Simonds and Ben Metcalfe in
the town centre and, centre, Mary Portas