March 30, 2012 from communities.gov.uk
The Government today is for the first time issuing its formal response to the Portas High Street Review.
Towns across the country have got their applications in ahead of today’s deadline in the hope of becoming Portas Pilots. Ministers revealed the unexpectedly high level of interest whilst announcing that the Government is accepting virtually all the recommendations put forward by Mary Portas last December.
Grant Shapps confirmed Ministers are accepting the vast majority of Mary’s recommendations – but that they intend to go further with a raft of new incentives, funding schemes and bureaucracy-busting measures, all in a bid to rejuvenate the country’s rundown high streets.
In what Mr Shapps referred to as a ‘Portas-Plus’ response, a new package of help has been drawn up including:
Grant Shapps said:
“Today, I’m accepting virtually all of the recommendations from Mary Portas’s review – but I’m also going that one step further, offering a ‘Portas-Plus’ deal, with a range of measures designed to help local people turn their high streets into the beating hearts of their communities once again.
“Mary Portas’s review made crystal clear the stark challenge our high streets face. With Internet shopping and out-of-town centres here to stay, they must offer something new if they are to entice visitors back.
“Her report has provided the catalyst for change that many towns have been craving. I now want to see people coming together to form their own town teams and turning their creative ideas into reality to ensure their high streets thrive long into the future.”
Martin Blackwell, chief executive at the Association of Town Centre Management, said:
“We all recognise that the high street in 10 or even five years will be radically different to that we see today. This Government’s approach, shown in the response to Mary’s report, is giving local communities the opportunity to shape the future High Street they want to see in their town.”
Responding to the first recommendation in the review, Mr Shapps said he wanted to see hundreds of Town Teams – made up of key players in the local area including the council, local landlords, business owners and local MPs – being formed and mobilised across the country to drive forward the necessary change.
He encouraged these Town Teams to consider:
And confirming the Government was accepting a number of other key recommendations to cut red tape and entice motorists to the town centre, Mr Shapps gave a commitment to:
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