Bid to secure ‘Portas’ cash for Derbyshire’s high streets

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High streets in Derbyshire could be set for a major boost if a bid for funding from the Government’s Mary Portas-inspired retail revitalisation programme is successful.

Local authorities are being invited to set up ‘town teams’, to demonstrate their vision for the future, and bid for £100,000 to give their high streets a shot in the arm.

The programme follows an independent review of town centres by retail expert Mary Portas where she challenged local leaders to come up with innovative schemes to re-establish high streets as the place to be for local people and visitors alike.

Derbyshire’s bid, submitted by the Derbyshire Economic Partnership and conceived by Derbyshire County Council , is called ‘One Shop Derbyshire’ and looks to expand successful schemes that have supported growth across businesses areas into the independent retail sector.

If the bid is successful One Shop Derbyshire will be piloted in four towns ¬and work closely with existing town teams to help build a more resilient retail sector across Derbyshire’s market towns.

Councillor Kevin Parkinson, Derbyshire County Council Cabinet Member for Regeneration, said: “Derbyshire is blessed with some wonderful market towns and we’re committed to doing all that we can to ensure they’re strong, vibrant, and at the heart of our communities.

“The Portas project is an opportunity for us to support our towns to share what they do well and work together to strengthen areas which need it.

“Most areas have focussed on just one town in their applications, but our innovative vision is to pilot the scheme in four towns and then roll-out the support across our 27 market towns to have a lasting impact.”

Councillor Parkinson added: “Many of the problems encountered by our high streets are shared and One Shop Derbyshire would provide the support and expertise to allow businesses to flourish.

“Local retailers provide good service and value for money, but often work in isolation and gain little business support. Being part of the One Shop Derbyshire initiative will be an excellent way for independent traders to create resilience whilst protecting the diversity and quality of our towns.

“We want to ensure that the Derbyshire pound is spent in the local economy and that we attract visitors and businesses to the county.”

A four minute amateur video has been submitted as part of the One Shop Derbyshire bid. It can be viewed at: www.derbyshire.gov.uk/oneshopderbyshire