Unsuccessful Wiltshire Portas Pilot towns in line for £10,000 grant
All 392 unsuccessful applicants to the Portas Pilot funding announced by the government earlier this year have now been offered £10,000 plus a massive package of support.
Local Government Minister Grant Shapps, who has led the government’s ‘No High Street Left Behind’ initiative, has written to all MPs in the areas that submitted proposals to take the lead for their communities and show support for their local Town Teams by applying for them to become Town Team Partners.
MPs’ commitment will be needed if Town Teams are to access the package, which includes support from the Association of Town Centre Management, which has more than 20 years of experience in helping town centres become prosperous locations for business and investment and focal points for vibrant, inclusive communities.
The ATCM launches the support programme nationally on Wednesday at the London School of Economics, with more than 100 localities already signed up to attend.
It will be followed up with action across the country leading to a two-day World Café of Ideas in October, to be held in Birmingham, and a series of meetings in each of the English regions. Mentors and other professionals and experts will engage on an on-going basis with each of the Town Teams who participate.
The ATCM, a not for profit organisation, has more than 600 members drawn from town centre partnerships, business improvement districts, local authorities, the public, community and private sectors.
It has a strong record of coordination and support, including running the National BIDs Advisory Service and the Purple Flag scheme for improving centres after retail hours and has just produced an encyclopaedia of ‘100 Ways to Help the High Street,’ an on-line resource at www.100ways.org.uk.
It already works with the successful Portas Pilot towns and provides the secretariat for the All Party Parliamentary Group on Town Centres as well as the High Street 100 local authorities in receipt of £100,000 each in funding as part of the government’s Portas Plus deal. Details can be found at www.atcm.org