Mary Portas parking reforms and market days are imminent
The British High Street is struggling and, in a bid to remedy that, the government has decided to indulge in a multimillion-pound funding boost on the back of accepting ‘virtually all’ of the recommendations made by Mary Portas.
That's right. The government are listening to someone off the telly with helmet hair.
Housing Minister Grant Shapps has revealed a ‘Portas Plus’ plan, which builds on the recommendations Portas made in a review commissioned by suet faced David Cameron.
Included in this, is a £10million High Street Innovation Fund to return empty shops to use, money awarded to places that deliver the most creative and effective revitalisation projects and a National Markets Day to encourage entrepreneurs.
So, if you fancy running a market, there's a ‘Love Your Local Market’ event taking place on June 23rd, run by the National Association of British Market Authorities which will offer you aspiring entrepreneurs the offer of a ‘table for a tenner’. There'll also be a £500,000 fund for Business Improvement Districts which will be set up to help town centres access loans.
In addition to this, Portas advised that, to help the High Street, free parking should be more prevalent. The Government said it was accepting ‘the vast majority’ of the report’s recommendations and ‘intended to go further’ by offering extra funding and getting rid of some of the red tape.
That said, it didn't accept all the review's recommendations. It rejected that all out-of-town retail developments should be approved by ministers. Of course, out-of-town shopping centres are one of the big reasons that the High Street is struggling so much.
Sith Lord Shapps said: ‘Mary Portas's review made crystal clear the stark challenge our high streets face. With internet shopping and out-of-town centres here to stay, they must offer something new if they are to entice visitors back. Her report has provided the catalyst for change that many towns have been craving. I now want to see people coming together to form their own town teams and turning their creative ideas into reality to ensure their high streets thrive long into the future.'