Portas team get top tips

Mary Portas in Croydon Market with Portas Pilots representatives. On 20 September representatives from every Portas Pilot in the country met to share their experiences of regenerating their high streets so far. Local Growth Minister Mark Prisk and Mary Portas attended the High Street Summit to hear their views and share their own thoughts.
Mary Portas in Croydon Market with Portas Pilots representatives. On 20 September representatives from every Portas Pilot in the country met to share their experiences of regenerating their high streets so far. Local Growth Minister Mark Prisk and Mary Portas attended the High Street Summit to hear their views and share their own thoughts.
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Morecambe scooped some tips on being a Portas Pilot town – from the retail guru herself.

Arndale Centre manager John Watkins, town clerk David Croxall and town clerk’s assistant Abigail Fawcett travelled down to London to get some advice from Mary Portas on how to spend their £100,000 windfall to boost the town centre.

They also shared good practice with all the other successful towns in a bid to make best use of the cash which has been earmarked for the Victoria Street area of the resort.

Reporting back to councillors at last Thursday night’s meeting, Mr Croxall said: “£100,000 is not going to regenerate Morecambe, everyone accepts that, but it creates energy that could open doors to other funding.

“For example the Arts Council have been instructed to work with town teams.

“We are being contacted every day by someone who can help us out with this.”

At a Portas meeting last Tuesday, September 25, a Town Team, which will decide on the projects, was selected, with Mr Watkins set to act as the chair.

The next step for the newly-selected group is to decide on an action plan as they pinpoint the particular schemes that will benefit from the Government cash injection.

Their next meeting, closed to the public, is on Wednesday, October 10.