Leyland misses out on Portas Pilot Town

Mary Portas
Mary Portas

Leyland has not be chosen to be a Mary Portas Pilot town - but could still be in with a chance later in the year.

Celebrity retail expert Mary Portas has today announced the list of 12 towns across the country which will benefit from her help and a share of £1m from the government.

Leyland put forward an exciting bid earlier this year, but was unsuccessful in being selected.

But it has also been revealed that a further 15 towns will be picked for the project by the end of July.

There is no need for Leyland’s Town Team to re-apply - which is made up of community leaders, business owners and South Ribble Council - but they can sharpen up the bid if they want and submit it again by June 30, which is also the deadline for new town teams to apply.

The first 12 Portas Pilot towns are:

Bedford - offering mentoring support for High Street businesses and community use of empty properties.

Croydon, Greater London - transforming the riot-stricken area’s historic Old Town market into a thriving market, food and cultural quarter.

Dartford, Kent - opening up central spaces for use by classes and clubs, from the Scouts to Slimming World and starting a ‘school for shopkeepers’.

Bedminster, Bristol – putting Bedminster on the map for Street Art and Street Theatre. A bicycle rickshaw service and a review of parking will also tackle the traffic environment.

Liskeard, Cornwall - competing against the edge of town supermarket with a vibrant arts scene, guerrilla gardening and yarn bombing to inject fun back into the town centre.

Margate, Kent - putting education and enjoyment at the heart of the town centre’s transformation with courses, “job club” services and pop up shops.

Market Rasen, Lincolnshire - drawing customers in by restoring the market town look and feel, advertising free parking and mentoring new businesses.

Nelson, Lancashire - attracting local students with a young persons’ café, sports activities, and a new art and vintage market.

Newbiggin by the Sea, Northumberland - better branding of the town to draw people in, improving local transport and hosting pop up shops.

Stockport, Greater Manchester - realising the character and potential of the Markets and Underbanks area with a creative arts complex, outdoor screenings, a new parking strategy and street champions.

Stockton on Tees, North Yorkshire - live entertainment at the Globe Theatre to boost the evening leisure economy alongside specialist High Street and evening markets.

Wolverhampton - bringing the city will to life with modern day town criers and on-street performers and a ‘dragon’s den’ style competition to support local entrepreneurs.