Businesses hit back over Mary Portas cash claim
TRADERS have hit out against claims that a rescue fund for high streets championed by retail guru Mary Portas has gone almost entirely unspent.
The High Street Innovation fund was set up in response to Ms Portas’s review of what could be done to boost struggling shopping areas.
In all, 100 councils were given a share of £10 million, which included £100,000 to help regenerate Market Rasen.
Reports say councils have spent just seven per cent of the money assigned to turn around town centres.
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But the Market Rasen Business Improvement Group (MR BIG), claims to have spent about a third of the six figure sum – and that the remainder has already been committed for projects to be implemented between September and December.
Since becoming a Portas Pilot town, Market Rasen has held ten monthly markets, won national awards, opened two community shops and created six new jobs, and Ms Portas recently paid a visit.
Sarah Lamballe, one of the volunteer directors of MR BIG, said: “We’ve created an atmosphere of confidence in our town which is encouraging businesses to try out their ideas.”