Thursday, 31 May 2012

Lib Dems back Southport Portas bid

Lib Dem MP for Southport John Pugh today offered his full support to local businesses looking to secure Government funding to rejuvenate Southport’s shopping streets after the town failed to secure cash in the first round of bidding to become a ‘Portas Pilot’. The Government is offering grants of around £100,000 to towns across the UK following the publication of the 'Portas Review' in December which called for action to reverse the decline of British town centres. 12 towns from across the country were chosen to become ‘Portas Pilots’ and receive their share of the funding pot following the initial round of bidding which closed in March. A second chance to secure the funding has now been announced by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG), prompting local MP John Pugh to offer his support to the ‘Town Team’ who co-ordinated the original bid. The team also received offers of support from local Councillors at their Area Committee meeting on Wednesday evening.

John Pugh MP says:

‘I am very proud of the work done so far by Southport’s “Town Team” in their efforts to secure Portas Review funding. They have done magnificently well to bring our local businesses together behind the bid and to produce a high-quality effort which was very unlucky not to be successful at the first attempt.

‘However, it is important they are not disheartened by narrowly losing out in the original round of bidding. A follow-up round has now been announced by the Government, and so I urge them to continue the excellent work they have done so far in showing off the unique qualities of Southport to DCLG and helping to secure the money which is needed to reinvigorate our town centre.

‘I also welcome the support offered by our local Councillors in backing our bid, and would similarly like to express my willingness to assist in any way I can. We are all firmly convinced that the “Town Team” can bring home the prize, and it is only right that we as elected representatives are on hand to lend whatever support we can in helping them achieve that goal.’

‘Southport's Lib Dem councillors are very happy to offer our support to the “Town Team” and wish them the best of luck in the next round of bidding. This is a real opportunity to get people behind our bid and to have an important discussion about the future of our town centre. Southport could and should be an attractive retail choice for the entire region, so the Portas Review money could help to bring many of the “Town Team’s” excellent ideas to life to help revive our town centre .’

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