This is the text of a recent letter from the Minister at Communities and Local Government. Sir George hopes Andover will bid again.
On Saturday 26 May I announced the 12 winners of the Portas Pilot competition. They are Bedford, Bedminster, Croydon, Dartford, Liskeard Margate, Market Rasen, Nelson, Newbiggin, Stockport, Stockton, and Wolverhampton.
As you will appreciate, having received 371 high quality applications, there are very many places across the country that will not have been successful at this stage.
I want to ensure that the energy and momentum that has been generated in towns across the country does not go to waste. So that’s why I’ve announced a second round of the competition, with 15 more pilots to be selected, and a closing date of 30 June. Applications made in the first round will be reconsidered automatically, and towns are also free to revisit their applications if they wish.
We want to support anyone who wishes to revise their application. So round 2 applicants can register for a free event, hosted by the Association of Town Centre Management in Bradford, on Wednesday 30th May – for more information see www.atcm.org/events/info.php?refnum=526&startnum=0.
Further details of additional seminars organised by the Department for Communities and Local Government and the Association of Town Centre Management to help town teams develop high quality applications will be announced shortly.
We also want to ensure all town teams can benefit from the successes and learning from the Pilots. Details of further support for all town teams will be announced in due course. These will include national events and a resource for all towns to use and share on Mary’s website at www.maryportas.com.
I have urged towns not to give up on the progress they have already made and hope that local partnerships will use the enthusiasm generated through this competition to push forward with their proposals for revitalising their high streets.
I look forward to considering bids in round 2.