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Wednesday, 29 July 2015

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Now Cleator Moor looks to Portas to revive town centre

CLEATOR Moor is set to follow Whitehaven in bidding to become a Mary Portas pilot as a town in need of High Street revival.

As Whitehaven waits to hear whether it will achieve success in this year’s inaugural competition, Cleator Moor is already pulling together a bid for next year.

A meeting for local businesses is being held in the town in Cleator Moor Civic Hall next Tuesday at 4.30pm to kick-start the process.

Efforts are under way to form a Town Team to make the bid by the June 30 deadline.

One of the prime movers is Dave Farrell of Farrell Sports. He said: “Cleator Moor has suffered more than most town centres and it goes back, I think, to 1997 when the Co-op relocated out of the centre to Leconfield.

“Since then there’s been lots of talk about trying to do something, we’ve had one or two abortive attempts, but really nothing has raised from the ashes.

“Our town centre used to be a place where people went to do their shopping through the day, there were plenty of pubs and clubs to attract in the evenings, but now we seem to have little left of either.

“The focal point of the Cleator Moor bid will be the Chamber of Trade which we are in the process of re-forming, but it has to be a collective effort.

“People with ideas and enthusiasm from all parts of the community are welcome.

“We missed the first tranche, but are pulling out all the stops to get a bid in second time round. It could be our best chance to stop Cleator Moor getting any worse.

“We want to make the town centre a place where people want to come, and there is a good reason for them to come. That is not nearly the case at present,” Mr Farrell said.

Next year’s government-backed Mary Portas package will carry even greater incentives. This year’s £1 million shareout will be on offer again plus another £1 million distributed between locations showing the most creative and effective schemes to revitalise high streets.

There will also be a £500,000 fund for Business Improvement Districts to help town centres access loans for set-up costs.

Whitehaven expects to hear in May whether it will become one of the 12 Mary Portas pilot towns from the 350 or so entered for a prize of £100,000 to aid high street regeneration.

Have your say

Good luck with the bid. I watched the Whitehaven video and I think they've made a big mistake. They've got the remit totally wrong. It makes the place look really nice with nice shops and not in need of any help at all. Maryports video on the other hand makes the town look desperate for help, just as the video should. If I was in the Whitehaven bid I'd pull that video straight away. It'll cost them any further progress.

Posted by Rich on 13 April 2012 at 08:14

Sounds like a great idea. Best of luck.

Posted by Alison Tordoff on 12 April 2012 at 21:14

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