Warwick to fight on after missing out on Portas cash

By Kevin Unitt 06/06 Updated: 06/06 08:11

WARWICK has missed out on claiming a share of a £1 million pot to breathe life into struggling high streets - but leaders have vowed to try again.

A group of business bosses in the town launched a bid in February to be chosen as one of 12 towns nationally as a 'Portas Pilot', a scheme spearheaded by retail expert Mary Portas, to share out £1 million and help turn around 'unloved' high streets.

After gaining the backing of local residents, authorities and MP Chris White, a short promotional video was submitted but the town was not named among the winning 12 towns announced from 370 entries.

The winners were Bedford, Croydon, Dartford, Bedminster, Liskeard, Margate, Market Rasen, Nelson, Newbiggin by the Sea, Stockport, Stockton on Tees and Wolverhampton.

Estelle Dimelor, chair of Warwick's Portas Pilot town team, said: "We are sorry not to have won but are not sorry to have taken part.

“We are seriously up in terms of the community spirit behind this from every walk of life, from shoppers in the market place, schools, our big corporate businesses, charities and from each and every independent: the support has been truly incredible.

“We aren’t going to let this momentum die down, we are already planning the resubmission of our proposal and plan to fight for one of the further places released.”

A further 15 winners for funding are expected to be announced later in the year.

Warwick had ambitious plans on how it wanted to spend the £100,000 had it succeeded - coupled with tens of thousands of pounds in matched funding from local traders - including using 21st century technologies, such as promotion through social networking sites like Twitter, to revitalise the medieval town.

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