‘Golden ticket’ offer for dying town centres

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The Government has launched a competition to find 12 areas to share £1m under a drive to regenerate town centres.

The move followed last year’s review of high streets by retail guru Mary Portas aimed at halting the decline of high streets and closure of local shops.

The 12 towns in England will be selected to run so-called ‘Portas Pilots’, aiming to “breathe new life” into shopping centres. A ‘town team’ will be created in each area, made up of the key players in their community such as the council, shopkeepers and the local MP.

Local Government Minister Grant Shapps said: “Our high streets have faced stiff competition from internet shopping and out-of-town shopping centres leaving them unused, unloved and under-valued.

“Today I’m offering a golden ticket to 12 town centres to breathe new life into what should be the beating heart of their communities.”