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More towns named as Portas Pilots


Almost 400 towns are set to win a share of a package of government support designed to revive the high streets, housing minister Grant Shapps has announced. An additional 15 Portas Pilots - towns that will trial the recommendations of high street tsar Mary Portas - have been announced, taking the total to 27. High streets that sign up to become Town Team Partners will receive backing from a multi-million pound support programme, as well as gaining access to events and workshops addressing the issues facing town centres.

Town Teams will also meet with one another regularly to share their experiences and receive mentoring support from experts. The support package is part of a response to Mary Portas’ review of the high street last December, which set out a plan to reinvigorate the nation’s shopping centres - something that may also benefit commercial property buyers looking for a safe investment.

“The response to the challenge created by the government’s response to the Mary Portas report from communities in towns and cities across England was enormous. It is terrific to see the government acknowledging that groundswell of activity in such a positive way,” said Martin Blackwell, chief executive of the Association of Town Centre Management.

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