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York and Selby still have Mary Portas scheme chance
Selby and York could still benefit from Government assistance in improving their high streets despite already losing out on bids.
Earlier this year “town teams” entered a bid to win a share of £1 million of Government funding, to become a Portas Pilot town, as part of a scheme masterminded by retail expert Mary Portas.
Neither Selby or York were successful in their application, but now the Association of Town Centre Management has invited them, along with 390 other town and city teams, to take part in a new Government initiative, worth £5.5 million.
The first phase of the scheme sees teams attend a day of events at the London School of Economics on Wednesday, with the aim of continuing the community-led movement which saw the Chamber of Commerce, local traders and groups come together to form the Portas bid.
Councillor Steve Shaw-Wright was on the Selby Town team, and said he hoped the second chance at funding would be taken up.
“I would think that Selby Town Council would be involved, but Selby District Council, I would think not.
“I would be happy for town council staff to participate. I would hope that as part of the stronger community, and economy, that the district council would get involved, but that may be asking too much.”
However, a spokeswoman for Selby District Council said it would not be sending representatives.
Wednesday’s event will be followed with more events around the country, a two-day World Café Of Ideas in October, to be held in Birmingham, and a series of meetings in each of the English regions where mentors and other experts will engage with the town teams.
City of York Council leader James Alexander said: “We launched the City Team York (CTY) last week and as part of the CTY’s aims, we identified that we would encourage projects especially to develop the city centre’s market offer, following the Portas Pilot bid.
“We have just been officially notified of the new package of support, to be delivered by the Association of Town Centre Management, and will be exploring how we might best tap into this at the next meeting of the CTY.”