Market Rasen to Get Mary Portas Treatment
28th May 2012
The Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership has welcomed the news that Market Rasen has been selected from more than 370 applications to become a Portas Pilot town.
Twelve town centres across the country will have a unique opportunity to revitalise their high streets after being selected to be the first Portas Pilots.
Market Rasen will receive a £100k grant to help secure the future of its town centre after the Business Improvement Group in Market Rasen applied to be a pilot.
It was one of 12 towns awarded grants in the first phase of the Portas Pilot scheme announced over the weekend.
“Many Lincolnshire towns and villages are faring well during the recession and we aren’t seeing as many empty retail premises as in other parts of the UK,” said David Dexter, Deputy Chair of the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership.
“But some communities have identified the need for extra help to support their retailers and it’s fantastic to hear that Market Rasen has been selected to be one of the Portas Pilots.
“It’s a real shot in the arm for the town and hopefully other retail centres will be able to take positive lessons from the experience too.”
Local Government Minister Grant Shapps praised the exceptional quality of the winning bids, each of which will receive a slice of £1.2 million and a tailored package of support from both the Government and retail guru Mary Portas.
“Market Rasen High street often sees people pass through the town on their way to local sporting events, from the races to rugby, but few stop in to visit the shops,” a Government statement said.
“The pilot will help the area draw customers in by bringing pride back to the local area and restoring the market town look. The Town Team plans to blitz the unkempt areas of the town and work with landlords to tackle empty shops.
“They will advertise the local free parking and revitalise the market with stallholder demonstrations. Local shops will be encouraged to open stalls and a mentoring scheme will be put in place for new businesses to start on a market stall and work their way up to a high street store.”
Mary Portas said: “I've been deeply touched by both the quality and creativity of the bids and the momentum Britain’s 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 there.”
About Portas Pilots
Other towns named in the first round of Portas Pilots are Bedford, Croydon, Dartford, Bedminster, Liskeard, Margate, Nelson, Stockport, Newbiggin-by-Sea, Stockton-on-Tees and Wolverhampton.
The 12 new pilots’ Town Teams will receive:
- a share of £1.2 million to put their winning plans into action
- a dedicated contact point in Government to provide advice and support
- free support from retail industry leaders including Mary Portas’ own team
- opportunities to share their experiences with other pilots
Retail expert Mary Portas is founder of one of London’s most respected retail & brand communication agencies, Yellowdoor, and the UK’s foremost authority on retail and brand communication.
About the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership
The Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership is a new body led by the private sector which aims to improve conditions for infrastructure and doing business in the Greater Lincolnshire area.
One of the first LEPs to be established in the UK, the Greater Lincolnshire LEP covers a large geographical area with a population of over one million and a diverse range of industries, from ports and logistics to farming, tourism and engineering.
It includes North and North-East Lincolnshire and is controlled by a LEP board made up of leading figures in the public and private sector.
For more information about the Greater Lincolnshire LEP please contact Ruth Carver or Carolyn Tuscher at the LEP Secretariat on 01522 550515, or visit www.greaterlincolnshirelep.co.uk