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Portas town centre bid is unsuccessful
11:33am Wednesday 30th May 2012 in News
A “DISAPPOINTED” Thurrock Council has vowed to push on with the regeneration of Grays town centre, after its bid to be a Portas Pilot failed.
Thurrock was one of more than 370 local authorities which applied for £100,000 of funding from the Government following retail guru Mary Portas’ review of Britain’s high streets.
The 12 towns chosen, none of which are in Essex, will get funding to help make improvements to their high streets along with a tailored package of support from both local government minister Grant Shapps, and Mary Portas.
Due to the high number of exceptional bids, Mr Shapps has announced a further 15 towns will now be picked to be pilots in a second round of the competition later in the year.
Cllr Andy Smith, Thurrock’s cabinet member for regeneration, said: “Obviously we are disappointed we did not succeed in this round of government funding and we are hopeful that there will be more success in the second round.
“However, this does not mean we just sit back and wait. Improving Grays town centre is a priority for the council so we are moving ahead with our proposals and a Grays Town Team.”
The town team was set to hold its first meeting yesterday (Thursday, May 31), and will spend the coming months working out how to spend the funds the council has allocated for the regeneration of Grays town centre.
The council secured £100,000 from the Government’s High Street Innovation Fund, designed to help councils reduce the number of empty shops in their areas, and it has also set aside £100,000 of planning gain money for the project.
The 12 towns which were successful in the first round of the competition were Bedford, Croydon, Dartford, Bedminister, Liskeard, Margate, Market Rasen, Nelson, Newbiggin by the Sea, Stockport, Stockton on Tees, and Wolverhampton.