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Government pledges £5.5m funding for Town Teams

More than 300 towns that missed out on being selected as Portas Pilots are to receive funding and support from the Government.

The ‘Town Teams’ are set to take a share of a £5.5m funding pot to help fund their ideas as part of the Town Team Partners programme. They will also have access to an advice line and network of advisers managed by the Association of Town Centre Management to share ideas. 

The Town Teams were not selected to test their ideas as part of the pilot programme which followed self-styled retail guru Mary Portas’ High Street Review last year.

An online bank of resources will give further advice and support while crowd funding will be available to attract local investors and raise money to fund their high street project. 

Housing minister Mark Prisk said: “There’s a real hunger in town centres across the country for them to be revitalised and remain attractive places to visit.”

Prisk was speaking after visiting Deptford, a successful applicant for the support, which has installed local artwork in high street stores under the Made in Deptford banner. It also transformed a railway carriage into a café to enhance the look of the high street.

He added: “No one’s pretending that there’s a silver bullet for improving the performance of our town centres. Yet as I saw in Deptford: with this new support, and the opportunity to learn from each other, Town Teams can channel their energy and enthusiasm into promoting a more exciting and competitive offer on our high-streets, and help them thrive for years to come.”

Town centres are also able to gain further funding from the £1m High Street X pot, which will be awarded to the most improved high streets.

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