The 15 schemes provide a range of opportunity for retail designers. They are:
• Ashford, which will promote its ‘stall for a tenner’ scheme to boost its local market;
• Berwick, which will be giving its high street a face-lift;
• Braintree, which set up a mentoring scheme for independent retailers;
• Brighton, which will be working to reduce crime and vandalism;
• Hatfield, which will develop community and event facilities;
• Leamington, which aims to encourage new businesses to the area;
• Liverpool, which will set up a mentoring scheme for young entrepreneurs in the areas;
• Waterloo in London, which will set up satellite markets in the area;
• Forest Hill, Kirkdale and Sydenham in London, where there are plans to renovate 12 empty properties and improve signage;
• Chrisp Street, Watney Market and Roman Road in London, which will run a series of public information programmes;
• Loughborough, where students from Loughborough University will work to reinvigorate the high street;
• Lowestoft, which will create a mentoring scheme and a town group discount scheme;
• Morecambe, which will set up a ‘community café’;
• Rotherham, which will launch a publicity campaign to promote the high street; and
• Tiverton, which will improve parking facilities.
As well as a share of the £1.5 million pot, each scheme will also receive advice from Government, Mary Portas’s team, and retail specialists led by Boots.
The 15 new Portas Pilots follow 12 other schemes that were announced earlier this year, including Croydon, Margate and Wolverhampton.
Beyond the Portas Pilot scheme, the Government is also offering a £5.5 million pot of funding for up to 400 towns across the country to establish their own town teams to work on high streets.
Portas says, ‘I am thrilled that communities up and down the country have looked beyond the money and have been mobilised to create “town teams” and demand more for their high streets.’