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Hundreds of towns across the country have applied in their droves to become one of the first Portas Pilots to breathe new life into their high streets, Local Government Minister Grant Shapps said today

The Government has received bids from 371 different towns to become one of 12 pilot areas, with the chance to receive a share of £1.2million to help turn around their high streets - but more importantly the backing from the Minister and Mary Portas herself.

Mr Shapps said he was excited by the "enthusiastic and energetic" response to the Portas Review, which has proved a catalyst for communities to come together, form Town Teams and make plans for the future of their high streets.

While the results of this competition will be announced in May, the Minister has also announced a further round of pilots to trial some of Mary's recommendations.

Grant Shapps said:

"I am delighted by the enthusiastic and energetic response from towns up and down the country, as they have used Mary Portas's review as a real catalyst for change to secure the future of their high streets.

High streets have faced stiff challenges from internet shopping and out-of-town centres, yet there is still a clear desire from communities to see them survive. We have received a fantastic 371 bids to become one of the first 12 Portas pilots.

That's why, as part of our Portas Plus response to Mary's review, I've launched a second round of this competition to find a further 12 pilot areas. I now look forward to watching the YouTube videos and seeing how communities have come together for myself."

Mary Portas said:

The significant work, creative energy and coming together of communities across the country that is evident in films they have made has confirmed my belief that the British public really care about their high streets. I promise to give as much back. We will work to recreate and redefine the British high street and town centre, making them places local communities are proud of."

Written by Scott Buckler
Friday, 27 April 2012 14:02

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