WHITCHURCH is in line for two benefits following its bid to the Portas Pilot Scheme.
Although the bid was unsuccessful, Whitchurch is to get help as a result of making the application.
It has been selected as one of only 10 towns nationally to receive support for rejuvenating its High Street.
It is also in line to receive £10,000 for the same cause providing the town can put in an amendment to its Portas bid to say what it would do with the money. MP Owen Paterson must support this by applying for the money via the Town Team Partner initiative.
On Monday, the National Towns Charity and Co-operative Group announced a new partnership to support town teams which were unsuccessful in their bids to join the Government’s Portas Pilot scheme which aimed to revive our high streets.
The initiative provoked huge interest, with over 370 towns applying for a first round of 12 pilots (and there is a second round of 15 pilot towns) - and as a result many town teams will be disappointed.
Monday’s announcement was made by national charity Action for Market Towns (AMT) and it will support fledgling town teams. The Co-operative Group will work with AMT to help take the 10 town team’s ideas forward.
The teams will receive funding to help research and understand individual issues as a basis for future fund raising and improvement.
They will also get `Town Benchmarking’, a system which helps identify key data about each town and how it compares with other towns regionally and nationally. Each town will also get a free half day consultation worth £150.
Sue Simper who helped coordinate Whitchurch’s bid said she is delighted.
“It is a great news and a great opportunity,” she said. “Our submission to the Portas scheme was a long shot, but we took a gamble and felt we could get noticed. The benchmarking strategy will help us develop plans and access funding, and the £10,000 of funding is another bonus.”