Brigg bidding for a £100k Portas windfall

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BRIGG is one of 300 towns across the UK bidding to become a Portas Pilot town, a status which carries with it a £100,000 improvement grant.

Fronting the bid is the newly-formed Brigg Town Business Partnership.

“We were initially formed as ‘BATLE’, fighting the expansion of Tesco,” said the group’s vice-chairman, Paul Keane, who is also proprietor of Grandad’s Shed Furniture in Wrawby Street.

“We thought we might as well create a business partnership from it. We are now a group of more than 50 businesses and we are getting bigger and bigger.

“There’s an exciting time ahead for Brigg. I feel very positive about it.”

Brigg has been further boosted by the findings of the Local Data Company’s Independents’ Day national survey of Britain’s high streets.

“Independents grew by 2.4 per cent and Brigg topped the East Midlands section as the town with the highest percentage of independent businesses with 73.3 per cent,” said Mr Keane.

“The Portas Pilot town competition was launched by the Government following a report by retail adviser and journalist Mary Portas. The Portas Review, published in December, was to “put the heart back into the centre of our high streets,” said Mr Keane.

Mary Portas, working in tandem with the Government, will choose 12 towns to become ‘Portas Pilots’ with the winners benefiting from a share of £1million.

“If Brigg gets the money, plans are for a town centre manager to promote the town. We want to recreate that feel of a community,” added Mr Keane.