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Tenbury in bid to become 'Portas Pilot' town.
TENBURY is bidding to be just one of 12 towns in the country to be a ‘Portas Pilot.’ If the town is successful it will get £100,000 from the Government as a result of a project led by shopping guru Mary Portas.
The retail expert best known through her television programmes has produced a report on the future of the High Street for Prime Minister David Cameron.
Included in the package is a Government pledge to spend £1 million on 12 pilot projects in towns throughout the UK.
The Tenbury Area Partnership that is made up of county, district and town councillors as well as schools and traders leaders has put in a bid for £100,000.
If successful £30,000 would be spent on improving the riverside and Burgage area as a place for major events and festivals. A similar sum would be used for business support.
The remaining £40,000 would be divided between promoting Tenbury as a tourist town and general marketing.
“We know that the money is available and though why not go for it,”
said Caroline Palethorpe, co-ordinator for the Tenbury Area Partnership.
“There are some very exciting ideas and we are very enthusiastic.”
A successful bid would be a major boost for Tenbury as it fights back from the damage to trade caused by the closure of the Teme Bridge.
Mary Portas makes 28 separate recommendations about how the High Street can stage a fight back against out of town and internet shopping.
A central idea is the formation of ‘town teams’ in which traders and other businesses would work together.
She also believes that the provision of safe and convenient parking is crucial.
This includes the end of centralised pricing of car parking.
A survey undertaken last year by the Area Partnership suggests that while Tenbury is considered a pleasant place to visit, it lets itself down with some of the detail.
“One simple thing that was mentioned is how difficult it is to get a cup of tea on a Saturday afternoon,” added Caroline Palethorpe.
Tenbury’s high street may not be able to compete on price with out of town shopping malls or the internet it can offer an all-round experience that includes shops, the chance to socialise, meet friends and relax, as well as enjoy a meal and a drink.